The following post contains minor spoilers for The standSeries premiere.
One of the most recognizable names in The Stand's sizeable cast doesn't even appear on screen.
For those who saw the premiere of the Stephen King adaptation Thursday and thought Bryan Cranston was voicing the President of the United States, your ears didn't fool you: this is the Emmy-winning Breaking Bad Vet who plays POTUS and an off-screen address to the American people in the first episode of the CBS All Access drama.
Booth co-creator Benjamin Cavell, who previously worked with Cranston on Amazon Sneaky Pete, confirmed the stealth casting for TVLine during a virtual press event earlier this month.
"He's a friend and he's wonderful," Cavell said of Cranston. "I asked him to do it and he said yes."
Cranston's voice comes about 20 minutes after The Stand premiered as a deadly influenza disease known as Captain Trips plagues the globe. But despite the measured tone and reassuring words of the President, his public address is not all that reassuring. POTUS starts coughing in the middle of the address, indicating that he's also infected with Captain Trips.
This is the second presidential role for Cranston, who is currently featured on Showtime & # 39; s Your Honor (Sundays at 10 / 9c). He previously played Lyndon B. Johnson in HBO's 2016 TV movie All the Way, which earned him Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy nominations.
New episodes of The Stand appear every Thursday on CBS All Access. TVLine readers gave Episode 1 an average grade of "B-" (read our roundup), with 87 percent saying they'll be returning for Episode 2.