Cranston Johnson was born the youngest of three children in Gastonia, NC. After graduating from Ashbrook Senior High School, he received a football scholarship from Western Carolina University. He went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management while finishing his collegiate football career with All Southern Conference honors. After college, he went on to play professionally in the Arena 2 Football League with the Greensboro Prowlers for 5 seasons excelling as a defensive back. His athletic ability and football experience led to him being hired for his first job in the film industry in 2010; a featured extra in The 5th Quarter: starring Andie MacDowell, Aidan Quinn, and Ryan Merriman. During this time, Cranston took an interest in acting and decided to pursue it as a career. He enrolled in a local acting workshop and eventually gained representation. It was not until he began method acting training in 2011 with Burgess Jenkins and the Actor’s Group that he saw his skills on camera start to blossom. With his versatility and new found skill set, he was cast for numerous independent film and television projects. His first SAG booking came when cast as Shawn Griffin in the Jerry Rees directed film Susie’s Hope during the summer of 2012. His performance was both powerful and chilling as he portrayed a man standing trial for animal cruelty. In December of the same year Cranston was cast in the Tyler Perry directed film The Single Moms Club starring; Nia Long, Tyler Perry, Wendy McLendon-Covey and Amy Smart. Cranston is building an impressive resume with episodic television credits that include a recurring role on the critically acclaimed comedy Atlanta starring Donald Glover. He also made appearances on Secrets and Lies, Constantine, Game of Silence, Survivor’s Remorse and Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell all in a two year span. Other film credits include: For The Love of Ruth, A Way Back Home and Term Life starring Vince Vaughn, Bill Paxton and Hailee Steinfeld. Cranston’s passion for the craft and his commitment to excellence were celebrated when he was awarded Best Actor in a Short Film at the Rahway International Film Festival in 2015 for his work on the gripping A Letter To My Son. The short film was selected to over 20 film festivals highlighted by the Riverrun International Film Festival; which is one of the premier film festivals in the Southeast. His breakthrough role came in the fall of 2016 when cast as series regular Detective Marvin Hanson for the second season of SundanceTV’s darkly comic swamp noir Hap and Leonard starring James Purefoy and Michael K. Williams. He continues to study method acting in Winston Salem, NC and has credited the class and instructor as an invaluable resource to his growth as an actor and human being. With his ability to be funny, angry, loving, menacing, vulnerable, ruthless or caring he has proved that not only can he play a wide range of characters, but that he truly is a student of his craft and dedicated to becoming a future leading man in the film industry.
Biography, Drama, History