Would you date Bryan Cranston, Benedict Cumberbatch or Eddie Redmayne?
If you said "yes" faster than you can spell "cumberbitch," take a breath. Because as Cranston explained during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, dating ain't what it used to be.
He should know, too, since he worked for a dating service in L.A. many yeas ago. "Before the online companies of dating, and all that sort of thing, you actually had to go into an office," he said on Friday's show. "This company was called Great Expectations, and it was actually very, very successful. They would match people up. Basically, you would go in, take a picture and you would write out a profile of who you are, and then you would have a sort videotape so that men or women can watch someone and go, 'I like the feel of this person. This feels genuine.'"
Was Cranston the cupid of Great Expectations? Who's to say?
Cranston would record the videos, taking the members by surprise. "Most of them would come in and go, 'I like long walks on the beach, and I'm very romantic, and I like to cook at home.' It's like, 'OK, calm down. This is not going to work because you're trying to hard. Just relax,'" he said. "I would usually tell a joke, and then they would laugh. I'd push the button when they're laughing and start the tape, and then say, 'Do you have a joke?' And they would say something or tell a joke, not knowing that they were being taped, and 50 seconds later I'd say, 'That's it. We're done.' We just wanted to get a little snippet of who they really are, and it really worked."
Dating videos could be cheesy, so host Graham Norton put his guests to the test and had them record a few (while promoting their work, of course). With a vintage-inspired filter, Cranston looked directly in the camera and said, "Hi, I'm Bryan. I'm 60, and if you like threesomes, just remember: I like Malcolm in the middle." Redmayne, looking adorably nervous, followed his lead. "Hi, I'm Eddie," he said. "I'm 34, and if you're looking for a fantastic beast, I know where you'll find one." Cumberbatch was equally as naughty. "Hi, I'm Benedict, but you can call me Big Ben. I'm...somewhere over 30," he said. "If you're feeling a bit strange, the doctor will see you."
Norton joked that their videos were "works of art."
All three of the actors are married, and it's a good thing they found their wives years ago. Because, as Cranston joked, "That is going to guarantee that we would have all stayed single."
The Graham Norton Show airs Fridays at 10:35 p.m. on BBC1.