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s u n day, A p r i l 2 7, 2 0 1 4 | Pa r a d e .c o m

The Parade Interview

Bryan Cranston On his troubled childhood, breaking away from Walter White, and what he’s learned about politics playing LBJ on Broadway

“In LBJ’s time, politicians knew they’d have to cross the aisle.”

© PARADE Publications 2014. All rights reserved


T ’S

SUNDAY

p off ill jum n TV. w n y o Ogw live Joby t Everest Moun

Q: Who’s the guy the Discovery Channel is going to show jumping off Mount Everest live, in May? —Eric F., Olympia, Wash. A: Meet Joby Ogwyn, 39, a Louisiana native who first summited Everest in 1999. He’ll climb to the top, more than 29,000 feet up, then leap into thin air in a “wingsuit” with nylon webbing that inflates with wind resistance, falling at more than 150 mph. “It’s true human flight,” he says. For video of Ogwyn flying around the Matterhorn, go to parade.com/mountain.

Sarah McLachlan

Q: What’s the inspiration behind Sarah McLachlan’s new album, Shine On? —Lisa R., Fort Worth, Tex. A: The Grammy winner and ASPCA champion, 46, says, “I lost my dad almost four years ago, not long after I separated from my husband. I found myself a bit rudderless, and a lot of the songs come from that. There’s darkness and loss on this record, but a lot of hope and joyfulness,

WALTER SCOTT ASKS...

HAYDEN PANETTIERE

The actress, 24, says the singer she plays on ABC’s Nashville (Wednesdays) is “a questionable personality.” What’s it like playing such a ruthless character? I love the roller coaster, the beautiful disaster that is Juliette Barnes. I was concerned, as she’s made so many poor decisions, that it would become obnoxious and people would go, “You’re annoying me now. You need to get a grip.” But they haven’t. You’ve said you suffer from serious stage fright. When I get nervous, I do everything a singer’s not supposed to do: My neck tenses up; my jaw clenches. The scary part is, is my voice going to be there? But sometimes being nervous is good, because you have that adrenaline and it makes you better. You’re engaged to Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko; what’s the latest on your wedding plans? Everything that’s happening in Ukraine definitely put a hold on things. But we have time. Do you do boxing workouts with your fiancé? Not sparring! That would be a one-way session. I have tried to chase Wlad around the ring, but it’s a losing battle. I have to catch him off guard.

too.” Listen to an exclusive stream of the entire album before its May 6 release at parade.com/sarah. Q: Where are the American Idol contestants living? —Eric L., Palo Alto, Calif. A: Season 13 contenders bunk at L.A.’s music-biz

Idol ’s Sam Woolf and Alex Preston

hotel, the Sunset Marquis. “We saw Bono chilling,” says Alex Preston, 20, who at press time was rooming with Caleb Johnson, 23. Johnson notes that “we throw our stuff all over; it’s just like home!” while Preston says they like to clean their room themselves (“We feel bad!”). See more selfies like the one above at parade .com/idol.

Do you have a question for Walter Scott? Post it at facebook.com /parademag.

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How many mint juleps do folks drink at the Kentucky Derby? —Lester O., New Orleans

A: It’s estimated that the icy, bourbon-infused southern favorite will be ordered close to 120,000 times over the two-day event (the race airs live May 3 on NBC). This cocktail—“julep” derives from the Persian gulab, a mixture of rose petals and water—is traditionally served in a silver or pewter cup and has been a Derby signature since 1938. Get the classic recipe at parade.com/julep.

2 | APRIL 27, 2014

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Constipation that feels like bricks piling up?

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Who is LINZESS for? Prescription LINZESS® (linaclotide) is for adults with IBS-C or CIC. It is not known if LINZESS is safe and effective in children. IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION • Do not give LINZESS to children who are under 6 years of age. It may harm them. • You should not give LINZESS to children 6 to 17 years of age. It may harm them. • Do not take LINZESS if a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction).

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© PARADE Publications 2014. All rights reserved


Belly pain and constipation that feel like a giant knot?

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Ask your doctor about LINZESS today. Side Effects LINZESS can cause serious side effects, including diarrhea, the most common side effect, which can sometimes be severe. Diarrhea often begins within the first 2 weeks of LINZESS treatment. Stop taking LINZESS and call your doctor right away if you get severe diarrhea during treatment with LINZESS. Other common side effects of LINZESS include gas, stomacharea (abdominal) pain, swelling, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in your abdomen (distension). Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of LINZESS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. In addition, call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you develop unusual or severe stomach-area (abdominal) pain, especially if you also have bright red, bloody stools or black stools that look like tar.

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Brief Summary of Important Risk Information LINZESS® (lin-ZESS) Capsules

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This information does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your medical condition or your treatment. What is LINZESS? LINZESS is a prescription medication used in adults to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and a type of constipation called chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). “Idiopathic” means the cause of the constipation is unknown. It is not known if LINZESS is safe and effective in children. What is the most important information I should know about LINZESS? • Do not give LINZESS to children who are under 6 years of age. It may harm them. • You should not give LINZESS to children 6 to 17 years of age. It may harm them. Who should not take LINZESS? • Do not give LINZESS to children who are under 6 years of age. • Do not take LINZESS if a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction). What should I tell my doctor before taking LINZESS? Before you take LINZESS, tell your doctor: • If you have any other medical conditions. • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if LINZESS will harm your unborn baby. • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if LINZESS passes into your breast milk. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby, if you take LINZESS. • About all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

Other common side effects of LINZESS include: • gas • stomach-area (abdomen) pain • swelling, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in your abdomen (distention) Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of LINZESS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. In addition, call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you develop unusual or severe stomach-area (abdomen) pain, especially if you also have bright red, bloody stools or black stools that look like tar. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. How should I store LINZESS? • Store LINZESS at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). • It is important to keep LINZESS in the bottle that it comes in. • The LINZESS bottle contains a desiccant packet to help keep your medicine dry (protect it from moisture). Do not remove the desiccant packet from the bottle. • Keep the container of LINZESS tightly closed and in a dry place. Keep LINZESS and all medicines out of the reach of children. Need more information? • This section summarizes the most important information about LINZESS. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. • Go to www.LINZESS.com or call 1-800-678-1605.

How should I take LINZESS? • Take LINZESS exactly as your doctor tells you to take it. • Take LINZESS one time each day on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before your frst meal of the day. • Swallow LINZESS capsules whole. Do not break or chew the capsules. • If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose. Just take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time. What are the possible side effects of LINZESS? LINZESS can cause serious side effects, including: • Diarrhea is the most common side effect of LINZESS, and it can sometimes be severe. Diarrhea often begins within the frst 2 weeks of LINZESS treatment. • Stop taking LINZESS and call your doctor right away if you get severe diarrhea during treatment with LINZESS.

FOREST PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. Subsidiary of Forest Laboratories, Inc. St. Louis, Missouri 63045

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LINZESS is a registered trademark of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ©2014 Forest Laboratories, Inc. and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Based on PI 072-14000212-F-RMC18356-08/13 LIN15686 03/14 © PARADE Publications 2014. All rights reserved


Views

S

he has been in the U.S. Senate for just over a year, but already Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has shaken up Washington with her take-no-prisoners approach to reforming Wall Street and helping the middle class. Her new memoir, A Fighting Chance, is only likely to cement that firebrand reputation—and stir speculation about presidential aspirations. In the book, Warren, 64, traces her life from a hardscrabble childhood in Oklahoma (where her father was a janitor and her mother worked at Sears) to her days as a lawyer, professor, and working mom, plus her efforts to help set up the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Along the way, she provides a sometimes caustic look at how the game of politics is played.

PARADE: You come from a modest

background that didn’t exactly have future U.S. senator and Harvard professor written all over it.

Not exactly. My mother and daddy did everything they could for us, but we had some hard times. Did a certain moment from your childhood shape your politics?

PHOTO: TOM WOLFF

When I was 12, my daddy had a heart attack and the medical bills piled up. We lost our car, and Senator Warren’s memoir, A Fighting Chance (Metropolitan Books; $28), is in stores now.

MAKING HER MARK As a young mother, Warren (inset, holding her daughter in 1971, and left, in Washington in 2010) practiced law from her New Jersey living room.

House of Cards is a reminder that power can be used for good, or to create more power for those who already have it. You write that you want every kid to have “a fighting chance.” Where do you start?

With education. It opened a thousand doors for me, but I went to a commuter college that cost $50 a semester and a public law school that cost just over $400 a semester.

The Rise of Elizabeth Warren The senator and author of a new memoir opens up about her working-class roots, why Washington makes her “furious,” and whether we will see her name on a presidential ticket in 2016 By Bill Hewitt we nearly lost our house. Watching what happened to my family made me understand how a life that people have worked so hard to build can be turned upside down.

work for the big guys, but not for those trying to get an education, or families trying to build economic security. It makes me furious. And yet, I believe in the power of fighting back, so I’m glad to be there.

You write that politics once “felt dirty to me.” Have your feelings changed?

The series House of Cards is something of an obsession in Washington. Are you a fan?

I’ve seen up close how Washington is rigged to

I’m only halfway through the second season, so don’t tell me!

At first, politics didn’t come naturally to you. You write that you threw up before going on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

[laughs] That was one of those moments when I wished I could have been anywhere else on earth. How do you spend your off-hours?

I buy sparkly shoes with my granddaughters, Octavia, 12, and Lavinia, 8. I ride bicycles with all three of my grandkids. They’re the light of my life. The timing of your book is going to have some people thinking you’re preparing for a presidential run.

I am not running for president. Period. You signed a letter urging Hillary Clinton to run. Will you back her?

Hillary is terrific. But I’m not focused on 2016, I’m focused on the work we have to do now. I’m in the moment. APRIL 27, 2014 | 9

© PARADE Publications 2014. All rights reserved


“you need a healthy dose of

By Mark K. Updegrove

Everywhere one looks in Bryan Cranston’s dressing room at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway, there are images and reminders of Lyndon Baines Johnson. A Lone Star flag from the 36th president’s native Texas decorates one wall; photos are taped to the mirror; books about him sit on a coffee table. Cranston, 58, is thoroughly immersed in his acclaimed performance as LBJ in Robert Schenkkan’s play All the Way, which opened in New York in March and will run through June 29. But when his cell phone rings, it’s the familiar strains of the theme music to Breaking Bad that fill the air. Cranston will always be inextricably linked with that Emmywinning series and the character of Walter White, the chemistry-teaching family man turned meth-cooking drug lord. And that suits him just fine. (He’s even writing a memoir, due in 2015, about those years.) Every night when he signs autographs outside the stage door, he meets young fans who’ve been to a play for the first time simply to see him in action. “Kids who know nothing about Johnson are coming because of Breaking Bad,” marvels Cranston, who first garnered awards attention on the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. “And I say, whatever it takes. Get ’em in the theater.” This summer audiences will also see him in Godzilla (opening May 16), a new version of

Playing a family man turned drug kingpin made Bryan Cranston a household name. But never seeking such acclaim may be the true secret to his success.

© PARADE Publications 2014. All rights reserved


“Given the set of circumstances that happened to Walter White,” Cranston says of his iconic character, “we are all capable of being dangerous.”

Cover and opening photographs by Brigitte Lacombe © PARADE Publications 2014. All rights reserved


PARADE: You’ve described your childhood as difficult and your parents as ill-suited to being parents. bryan cranston: I think [parenting] is a job you

When we were called up, I went to kiss the girl, and she was on me— embrace, passion, I’m dizzy, I’m lost. At the break I said to her, “Do you want to have lunch sometime?” She looked at me like I was a lost puppy and said, “Oh, no, no, no. I have a boyfriend.” I would have bet anything she was into me. But she was an actor. So now I had a strong feeling I was not going to be a policeman. I hopped on a motorcycle with my brother and we took off for two years to travel. We were in Virginia in fall and it was raining, so we stopped at a picnic area that had a cement slab with a roof. We put our pup tents up and stayed for six days, because it never stopped raining. One day I was reading a book of plays, and when I looked up it was pitch black. I was so into the play—Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler—that I hadn’t noticed. Nothing had ever taken me on a journey like that before. I was 21, and I thought, “Let me be bold and attempt something I’m in love with.”

go into with no experience. My mother loved performing, but she chose to be a wife and mother, and years later she definitely had some resentment. I always likened her to Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire, who depended That’s remarkable. Let’s talk about Breaking Bad. on the kindness of strangers. She was very flirFrom top: “I don’t think I’ll have another How do you create a character like Walter White? tatious and was married four times. My dad character like that on television,” Cranston says The better the writing, the more guideposts it married three times, and there wasn’t a lot of of Breaking Bad’s Walter White; as LBJ (with Robert Petkoff as Hubert Humphrey) in gives you. [Breaking Bad creator] Vince Gilligan’s stability there, either. All the Way; as a scientist in Godzilla. writing was so deep and visceral. I had a plethora So here’s two people who decide to settle of ideas for how Walter should look: what his down and have kids, and it’s going pretty well hair should be like, how much he weighs, how he for a while. We had a nice little tract house in was exactly what we needed. the Valley, and one year we put a swimming When you didn’t see your father for 10 years, walks. My goal is always to get to the emotional core of a character, and with Walter it was harder pool in because my dad’s acting career was did you feel abandoned? doing well. The next year my mom said, You have nothing to relate it to at the time, because he was depressed. He didn’t know how he “We can’t afford the chemicals for the pool, but certainly there are anger and resent- felt. Then he got this diagnosis that, although it so we can’t swim.” One year we got a new ment and abandonment issues you have to gave him only two years to live, was very liberating. car; the next we got rid of it and got an old deal with as an adult. When someone asks He did something bold for the first time in his life, car. When you’re a kid, you’re much more me, “How did you tap into the anger and and his emotional core exploded like a volcano. resilient than people give you credit for. viciousness of Walter White?” I say, “Well, Was it hard to leave the role? It’s only in retrospect that you go, “That it’s there.” An actor’s job is to be open to it. Yes. Usually when you get a role they give you a set of What led you to follow your parents into the circumstances: “He can do this, but he can’t do that.” wasn’t a very good situation, was it?” With Walter White, over the course of six years, I When I was about 10, I saw my dad fairly unstable profession of acting? less and less. Then he left the family Well, I was set to become a policeman. covered it all. I could kill someone; I could caress my when I was 12, and I didn’t see him My brother and I were members of the baby and kiss my son on the forehead. The whole specagain until I was 22. It was like falling ­Explorer Program of the LAPD, and I had trum of the human experience. off a cliff: My dad’s gone; my mom is an aptitude for it. The plan was to get a de- Did the darkness get to you? crushed. My brother and I went to gree in administration of justice, and I took You learn how to prepare and protect yourself as an aclive with our grandparents for a year. acting as an elective. My first day in acting tor. If a scene isn’t coming up for a while, you don’t stay We went kicking and screaming, but class, I was issued a scene that said, “A teen- on the edge; you shut down. Then when they say, “We’re the stability that they brought us age couple is making out on a park bench.” about 20 minutes away,” you start ramping up, much 12 | april 27, 2014

© PARADE Publications 2014. All rights reserved

Cover and inside: photographed at the standard, high line. Stylist, Michael Fisher for StarworksArtists.com; Stylist Assistant, Amber Simiriglia; grooming, rosie jane johnston/solo artists; clothing, cover: suit and shirt, surface to air; tie, alexander olch. inside: suit and shirt, haspel; shoes, cole haan

the Japanese monster epic that first hit movie screens in 1954, two years before the actor was born. Cranston grew up in Los Angeles, the second of three children whose parents were actors (and, in his father’s case, a producer), and his upbringing was tumultuous. “It wasn’t until my mid-30s that I was comfortable in my skin. I wanted to be a husband and father, and I wanted a career in something I loved,” says Cranston, who has been married for nearly 25 years to actress Robin Dearden, whom he met while shooting an episode of Airwolf; their 21-year-old daughter, Taylor Dearden, has joined the family business. In this interview, Cranston proves himself as spellbinding a storyteller off-screen as he is on-, discussing luck, late blooming, and the roles of a lifetime.


like an athlete gets ready for a game. When we wrapped for the night, I’d go to the makeup and hair trailer and get two moist hot towels. I’d put one over my bald head and wrap the other around my face like I was getting a shave at an old-time barbershop. And I’d just sit there for a while; it feels like you’re getting a hug.

What would Walter White’s motto be? What life lessons can be learned from Little League?

photos, opposite, FroM top: Frank oCkenFels/aMC; evgenia eliseeva; kiMberley FrenCh

Scan here to watch Cranston discuss this and more, or go to parade.com/cranston.

Then you slowly rub off all the makeup and dirt from the day, put on some moisturizer and, oh, you feel different. I’d take off Walter’s clothes, put on Bryan’s clothes, and go home. And I’m not him. You could have taken any role you wanted after that. Why did you choose LbJ in All the Way?

It’s the story and the writing, and in this case, they both hit home runs. People are still sketchy about who Lyndon Johnson really was, what motivated him. Now, 50 years later, I think it’s appropriate to revisit his legacy. I’m not asking for revisionist history, because the awful experience of Vietnam is what it is. But Johnson accomplished tremendous things domestically. He was probably the most politically savvy president

© PARADE Publications 2014. All rights reserved


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What can barack obama learn from LbJ?

There are two things LBJ had that our current president doesn’t have. One is extensive experience in Congress. By the time he became vice president, At the Emmys in 2010 with daughter Johnson not only knew Taylor and wife Robin Dearden. everyone, he knew what their pet projects were. So we’ve had since Roosevelt, and he was ready to make deals that was a key component to [doand trades. “You support me ing] wonderful, foundational work on this, I’m going to give you in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that bridge.” [laughs] the Voting Rights Act of 1965, The second thing is the [poMedicare—it goes on and on. litical] climate. In LBJ’s time, On the flip side of that coin politicians knew they’d have is political hubris. My theory to cross the aisle: “Our phiis that Vietnam was the result losophies might be opposite, of that hubris; I don’t think he but I’m going to try to work wanted to be known as the first with them.” And what we have president to lose a war. now is a digging-your-heelsWhat were you surprised to learn in: “They are trying to hurt the about Johnson? country. Only our way is the I saw a letter in the LBJ Presi- right way”—whether you’re in dential Library [in Austin, the Republican or Democratic Tex.] from Jackie Kennedy camp. It is so polarizing and disto the new president, a few trustful and disrespectful. days after the assassina- Why did you want to do Godzilla? tion. Two things struck me. I initially turned it down—I She thanked Johnson for thought, “I can’t do Godzilla having the courage to walk after Breaking Bad; that’s a huge behind the family in the fu- step down.” But I was surprised neral procession. She was at the level of the writing, and sure, and I’m sure, that the the director, Gareth Edwards, had Secret Service wanted him some great ideas to strengthen the in a covered car. And she heart of the story. And why not do thanked him for writing something that’s fun and escapist? letters to her children. I So I got down off my high horse thought, here’s a man who and said, “Yeah, let’s do it.” took on this enormous job What advice have you given your just days before, under this actress daughter, Taylor dearden? horrible situation. And Virtually none. Because of the he took the time to write relationship, she needs to not be to John-John and Caro- under my watchful eye or under my line, to talk about his re- shadow. She needs to find her own spect for their father. It identity. So we talk in general terms had a huge impact on me, about acting. What Robin and I are grateful for is that she’s very talented. the humanity of that. 14 | aPril 27, 2014

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cross the aisle: “Our philosophies might be opposite, but I’m going to try to work with them.” And what we have now is a digging-your-heels-in: “They are trying to hurt the country. Only our way is the right way”—whether you’re in the Republican or Democratic camp. It is so polarizing and distrustful and disrespectful.

What were you surprised to learn about Johnson?

Why did you want to do Godzilla?

I saw a letter in the LBJ Presidential Library [in I initially turned it down—I thought, “I At the Emmy awards in 2010 with daughter Taylor Austin, Tex.] from Jackie Kennedy to the new can’t do Godzilla after Breaking Bad; that’s a and wife Robin Dearden. president, a few days after the assassination. huge step down.” But I was surprised at the Two things struck me. She thanked Johnson for level of the writing, and the director, Gareth having the courage to walk behind the family What can Barack obama learn from LBJ? Edwards, had some great ideas to strengthen in the funeral procession. She was sure, and There are two things LBJ had that our cur- the heart of the story. And why not do someI’m sure, that the Secret Service wanted him rent president doesn’t have. One is extensive thing that’s fun and escapist? So I got down off in a covered car. And she thanked him for experience in Congress. By the time he be- my high horse and said, “Yeah, let’s do it.” writing letters to her children. I thought, came vice president, Johnson not only knew What advice have you given your actress daughhere’s a man who took on this enormous everyone, he knew what their pet projects ter, Taylor dearden? job just days before, under this horrible were. So he was ready to make deals and Virtually none. Because of the relationship, she situation. And he took the time to write trades. “You support me on this, I’m going to needs to not be under my watchful eye or under my shadow. She needs to find her own identity. So to John-John and Caroline, to talk about give you that bridge.” [laughs] The second thing is the [political] climate. we talk in general terms about acting. What Robin his respect for their father. It had a huge In LBJ’s time, politicians knew they’d have to and I are grateful for is that she’s very talented. impact on me, the humanity of that.

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we’ve had since Roosevelt, and that was a key component to [doing] wonderful, foundational work in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Medicare—it goes on and on. On the flip side of that coin is political hubris. My theory is that Vietnam was the result of that hubris; I don’t think he wanted to be known as the first president to lose a war.


She’s got a sensibility and an instinct I didn’t have at 21. To be honest, if she wanted to be a horticulturist, I’d be thrilled. I just want her to find her passion. You’re known as one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. How do you stay grounded?

I don’t know why I’ve been so fortunate in this life, but I’m not going to take it for granted. Never feel you’re entitled to anything. To have a successful career, you need a healthy dose of luck. And then having mentors: Tom Hanks has given me jobs several times [including in That Thing You Do!]. I saw the way he behaved on the set, his ability to convey respect and appreciation for others, and I made mental notes. That’s the way I am leading this cast [in All the Way]. Let’s keep the drama in the show, not around it, and let’s all be thankful. is there an advantage to becoming so successful later in life?

Certainly. There’s less restlessness as you get older, and you do get wiser. I got comfortable with trusting that I’d get a job. And I was very frugal. I didn’t put the pool in; I didn’t buy the brand-new car. I had a middle-class life, better than my upbringing, until I was 40. I didn’t have stardom, and I didn’t crave it. If I could say, “I make my living as an actor,” that was everything to me. That’s still the accomplishment I appreciate most. Mark K. Updegrove is a presidential historian and the director of the LBJ Presidential Library.

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Ask Marilyn By Marilyn vos Savant

i’m a teacher, and i question the way grade point averages are calculated for academic awards. students may take anywhere from five to eight courses, and grades range up to a and beyond. (Honors courses may award an H, which counts for five points.) Many people say that an a average in eight courses should count for more than an a average in five courses. others disagree. still others say that it depends on the courses. What do you think is fair, and how would you calculate it?—T. S., Chicago First, i’d say that we should not make subjective judgments about which courses are harder. some are obvious, but most are not, and different fields of study can always have their own awards, thus limiting the contenders to their areas of interest. then i’d simply total the number of points (H = 5, a = 4, etc.) for every grade received. For ex-

ample, a student with an a in seven courses and a B in one course would have 31 points. a student with all a’s in a total of seven courses would have 28 points. (He or she did not earn the additional B, worth 3 points, that the first student did.) the totals alone would determine class rankings. i call the concept Gpt (grade point total), and the logic is straightforward. a student’s Gpt recognizes total academic achievement: one point per letter per course. (averages are not relevant.) also, Gpt doesn’t diminish a student’s earned successes with his or her failures. For instance, a student with seven a’s and one F has a Gpa of 3.5, and a student with all a’s in a total of seven courses has a Gpa of 4. yet the first student accomplished as much as the second student. with Gpt, these students would rank equally with 28 points. and if the first student earned a B, c, or even a D instead of failing that course, he or she would rank above the second student. to play this week’s numbrix, or to ask Marilyn a question, go to

parade.com/askmarilyn.

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1. Make apple syrup: Combine diced apple, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer; lower heat so syrup bubbles gently and cook 10 minutes. Re-

BY SARAH DIGREGORIO

Apple–Peanut Butter French Toast

You can also use 2% or whole milk in this recipe, unless you want an extra-rich flavor, in which case use cream or half-and-half. move from heat. (Make it ahead: Refrigerate syrup and serve it warm or chilled the next day.) 2. Meanwhile, beat milk with eggs, apple cider, cinnamon, vanilla, ground ginger, and a big pinch of salt in a measuring cup. Pour into a shallow bowl or pie plate. 3. Spread 4 slices bread with 2 Tbsp peanut butter each. Top each with thinly sliced apple; drizzle apple with honey (if desired) and sprinkle with cinnamon. Sandwich with remaining

4 slices bread and press together. 4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Working 2 sandwiches at a time, soak sandwiches in milk mixture on each side, letting excess drip off. Cook in skillet about 6 minutes for each side, until browned and warmed through. Cut into halves, if desired. Serve with apple syrup. PER SERVING: 390 cal, 49g carbs, 15g protein, 17g fat, 100mg chol, 400mg sodium, 4g fiber

18 | APRIL 27, 2014

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Kennections By Ken Jennings HOW TO PLAY

All five correct answers have something in common. Can you figure out what it is?

1. What national emblem of Canada is also an official animal of the state of Oregon?

✎ 2. In 1936, John McCain was born in the Canal Zone, a U.S. territory that today belongs to what country?

✎ 3. What type of horse race for three-year-olds is named for an event held annually at Epsom Downs in Surrey, England, since 1780?

✎ 4. What was the name of Wilmer Valderrama’s exchange student character on That ’70s Show?

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