In ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,’ Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style. The film is directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) and is written by Noah Baumbach (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Greenberg). Pencilled in for release June 8th in the US and October 19th in the UK, the threequel features the voice cast of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric The Entertainer, Andy Richter, Frances McDormand, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain and Martin Short.

Can you tell us about your character in ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,’ Vitaly? How did you find the whole process of voicing him?

Bryan Cranston: Vitaly is blustery and big. He’s full of pride and ego. He’s definitely the alpha male of the whole circus. At times he does go buffoonish, but he’s a big character, a big personality. Voicing him, basically you can do no wrong (laughs), you’re just blasting out – sometimes hurting the recordist’s ears with the volume. But its been fun because we’ll get to the script and we’ll do the written words, then we’ll be able to go off it a little bit. You have an idea of what you want to do and throw a couple different versions and ideas. It’s great because they made us feel we could do no wrong. It was like, “Go ahead, go off on your own. We’ll circle back around, get what we need to get.” Often times we’ll find a little gem or a response that works well.

How did you find the voice of Vitaly?

Bryan Cranston: He’s the Russian Tiger, (in Vitaly’s voice) “So I just tapped into my Russian guy accent,” (laughs). I looked at the early animation of it and I thought that the Russian growl, the Tiger’s growl would come from a deep place, very bassy. But then I just played around with it, played around with certain things. I didn’t know how they would go for it, but there’s certain words like “Circus”, I would just pronounce it a bit different, make it sound funny and have it be fun to say (laughs).

How does the circus come into play for Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman?

Bryan Cranston: They’re on the run, they’re being chased. They’re still not back home so they get to….they’re almost captured, and they need to get a place of refuge. They’re right at the moment where they’re going to be captured, they’re like, “Where can we go? Zoo animals hideout, WHERE?!” And then right behind them is this circus train with all the animals pictures on the circus train. It’s like “Ta-Da” (laughs). Then I pop out and the rest of the circus animals pop out. Some are welcoming of them into the fold, because they are our brother and sister animals. But then some, like me, Vitaly, they’re very dubious about their intentions.

Vitaly has his own special act he’s known for, yet he’s lost his confidence in a way….

Bryan Cranston: (In Vitaly’s voice) “Vitaly, in his prime, he had fantastic act! They say impossible. I say NO! Not impossible.” What he did is there was a ring that he would run and jump through, several rings. But we would light the rings on fire. And then as soon as the audience went, “Wow, he went through the rings,” he would make the rings smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller (laughs). Until the rings were tiny, but then he’d actually, somehow, be able to run and dive through this ring and make it through. It was quite a feat. But then he lost his confidence, and like with anything….I think this is a good lesson that’s couched in the entertainment, in the movie, is that confidence, confidence takes you far in life. And that’s not only what happens with the circus animals, but also in the zoo animals. They have to gain their confidence back, their friendships back. And that together can get them through tough times.