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April 2, 2024 42 mins

Michael Mann thinks of directing from the inside out. Even when he's working with established actors like Roberto De Niro and Daniel Day-Lewis, he focuses on providing a stimulus—through script, choreography, and verbal cues—that the performers can react to. This approach has earned Mann a reputation for bringing out the best in his casts, and for creating characters in films like Heat and The Last of the Mohicans that are at once distinct and memorable. On this week’s episode of Table for Two, Mann joins host and AIR MAIL contributor Bruce Bozzi to discuss his filmmaking philosophy, the moment he knew Don Johnson was the perfect front man for Miami Vice, and his current writing process for Heat 2.

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey, everybody, pull up a chair.

Speaker 2 (00:07):
It's that time of the week. We're having lunch on
Table for two with Bruce Bosi and guess what. We
are here at the Tower Hotel in Los Angeles on
a gray, sort of chilly day. I mean, I think
I usually do like the chop salad, but I'll do
it some avocado today.

Speaker 3 (00:22):
You'll have a chop sale as well.

Speaker 2 (00:24):
We're having lunch with the director of Public Enemies, Manhunter,
the last of the Mohicans, Heat The Insider Collateral. He's
worked with triple A plus actors. He directs them brilliantly,
and he's all about the human psychology of his characters.

Speaker 1 (00:45):
I'm telling you, you're like the man. Mister Man is
the man open.

Speaker 3 (00:50):
In the morning and look at the mirror and say,
oh hello.

Speaker 2 (00:52):
You know, so, pull up a chair and you're really
going to enjoy this. We're having lunch with the director
of Ferrari, starring Penelope Cruz and Adam Driver. Mister Michael Mann.
I'm Bruce Bossi and this is my podcast Table for two.

Speaker 4 (01:22):
Welcome, Thank you very much.

Speaker 2 (01:25):
I mean, let me tell you, your movies blow me away,
and I really can just jump into Ferrari because we
can start there, because Michael, I watched this movie and
it blew me away on so many levels.

Speaker 1 (01:40):
The blew me away on.

Speaker 2 (01:42):
The performances that Adam Driver Gay, that Penelope Cruise.

Speaker 1 (01:46):
She blew me away.

Speaker 2 (01:48):
And I want to talk about your process in getting
these actors to give them these A plus actors, your
ability to capture the Italian culture being an Italian American
really resonated with me. And then of course the story
of Enzo Ferrari and also race car driving and can
you just jump in and tell me about this.

Speaker 1 (02:09):
It's an incredible movie.

Speaker 2 (02:11):
Do you go into the process saying, Okay, I know
who I want to play these characters.

Speaker 4 (02:17):
I know who Enzo should be. That's a great question.

Speaker 5 (02:21):
I actually have to have a real sense of the
character first, and then I start talking to actresses or
actors and then kind of a mental you know, kind
of a mental projection. If this actress is inhabiting this character,
this is the this is the yield, and then that's
just that's your imagination working, you know, it's a kind

of creative imagination, kind of projecting what would it be like?
And you're talking to them and sometimes there'll be a
simple turn of the phrase, or although somebody will reach for,
you know, a fork that's not there, she'll say something
to a wai or in in that moment you'll see, yes,
you'll see this is the person, this is it, She's it,
you know.

Speaker 3 (03:00):
And with Peneloping, it was about four minutes into a
zoom really and yeah, and I did.

Speaker 1 (03:04):
She do something in that four minutes.

Speaker 3 (03:07):
It was her kind of express her kind of.

Speaker 5 (03:12):
What I call it, a kind of a Mediterranean self confidence,
if you like, you know, kind of the way she
talks to her son and wanted to say hello to me.

Speaker 4 (03:22):
She kept pushing it aside.

Speaker 5 (03:24):
Was there something about the certainty that she has the
absolutely uh, no self doubt. There's a certainty when she
thinks something, her values that in self confidence that gives
a certainty to her feelings. So when she feels a thing,
that's it, you know, And that's absolutely Lara.

Speaker 3 (03:42):
And then question her face and how she expresses all right, but.

Speaker 2 (03:45):
The cadence of her law, like her hope, I've never
seen her sort of the shift in her body and
in her face in your movie with really exemplified Lara's
you know, the twist in her not only the pain
of them losing a child, but now where the marriage went,
the whole and the complication, the financial crisis that Ferrari

finds himself in that she's now as part of what
do you do on set to sort of say, okay,
you know you make films Michael, that you work with
actors that are like triple A plus actors, and then
you proceed to be able to get a performance that
is next level that not only they get accolades and
achievements and awards, but like make films that last the

test of time, which will which is really being a storyteller.
I assume I would think, you want, how did you
if we stay just in the Ferrari world right now,
when you sit with your Penelope and share your on set,
you're like, okay.

Speaker 5 (04:44):
It starts with my you know what an actor looks
in the same doesn't seem a nalosis? And it said
what's my action? Meaning here's a three page dialogue seeing
what do I want? I have to be as an actor?
One has to be able to express that in some covenant.
You know, uh, I want to seduce, to escape, to
leave the room, to go into the room, whatever but

that's what it is, and that's not the activity.

Speaker 3 (05:09):
It's what you what you really want.

Speaker 5 (05:11):
Sometimes it's sub in the subtext that's not but that's
what you's driving the whole sin. So for me, it's
it's very it's very much it's very much a similar
similar process.

Speaker 3 (05:21):
And what I want is.

Speaker 5 (05:22):
For the character of Lara to be so alive that
you are in the room with a strong personality, okay,
and and and she's occupying the totality of herself and
the space in the room meaning meaning. And then I
secondly is that I think people are way complex and
so you'll never quite reach it. But the aspiration is

that is to imbue the character, meaning imbue the actor
with the same complexity that you have in your life.
As complex as your life is, that's how complex this
character is supposed to be. And that's what you try
to get to. You never quite will get there, right,
but that's what you drive for. And so then that
means working with with like Penelope or with Adam or
Daniel Dan Lewis or anybody. It's how do you build

that character? And that begins way before rehearsals. It's not
on the set with Enzo. Enzo's passion the engine that
makes him go. If you said you will only allow
to identify one component, you can't identify half a dozen one.

Speaker 3 (06:23):
It's said he's a race car driver.

Speaker 5 (06:25):
He has that romantic drive, and so that's an Enzo
in nineteen twenty two started racing, and he had had
the ambition to be a race car driver as somebody
who was totally bereft. His father and brother had died,
he had no money, he had a spotty education. He
just got turned down for a job at Fiat and

decided on on a bench at a park in a
cold rain, in a moment of despair, he asked himself,
who shall I be in this world? Which is completely
crazy because the answer is depressed. Understand he at that moment,
you know, he believed that transcendence and the kind of

static class hierarchies of Italy and that period was actually possible.
And he picked the most romantic that you could possibly
be at the moment in time, his car driver. And
that's that that impulses that drive. So then it becomes
that now acquiring along the way, there's a whole host
of cultural characteristics. What's his attitude towards women? What's his

attitude towards courtship? What is where is he he's irreverent?
A reverent against what? Because if you don't acknowledge that
there is an authority structure, be it the Catholic Church
or in Italy in the nineteen fifties to continue Communist party,
then the characteristics of how you're irreverent so enough to

make the pope weep said, okay, you know he built,
he did build, the Pope will built right, pulp drug
rid So I mean it's it's but there's always with
with that, you know, there's a tongue in sha.

Speaker 3 (08:05):

Speaker 5 (08:07):
Then of course there's all the physical stuff, which which
is aim six craft, you know at being an actor,
the walk, the posture, the weight, what he breathes, the
way he you know, people people walk into a strange room,
they do they look at different things. Right, if you're
a thief, when you walk in a room, the first
thing you look at is worth the excerpt.

Speaker 2 (08:29):
You know, let's talking about the race car seats. I mean,
you love cars, and I can't believe you.

Speaker 1 (08:44):
Did that race?

Speaker 4 (08:44):
Like what was that?

Speaker 1 (08:45):
When did you do that?

Speaker 4 (08:46):
When you the uh?

Speaker 5 (08:48):
Starting probably in the middle nineties to about two thousand
and four, two thousand and five.

Speaker 1 (08:53):
Are you the coolest guy on the planet?

Speaker 5 (08:56):
And off of the course kind of planet started when
that's about six or seven years old.

Speaker 3 (09:00):
That's what it takes.

Speaker 2 (09:02):
How was that?

Speaker 1 (09:03):
How was your experience doing that race?

Speaker 3 (09:06):
I mean racing or when I or I made or
shooting the.

Speaker 2 (09:10):
Both, because you know you have like what an interesting
sort of you actually have you know you experienced it,
so you can actually bring that to well.

Speaker 5 (09:18):
You know, as a director, like an actor, you if
you experience a if I one practice session, we're racing
at Rhode Atlanta, and I think on a Saturday, I
did like seventy five layups and once there's there's there's
three chicaanes in a row as you approached the back
stretch of Rote Atlanta, and once I absolutely nailed it

as it filmed. As as a filmmaker, if I do something,
if I experience it once, I can project to what
it's like.

Speaker 3 (09:48):
Okay, this is what it's supposed to feel like.

Speaker 5 (09:50):
I get it, you know, myself in the car unified,
it's a hard it's a kind of a harmonic.

Speaker 3 (09:57):
Organism. Wall one. I'm just thinking a thing and it's
half the name. Yeah, it doesn't feel fast, but.

Speaker 5 (10:02):
My laptime is way down or so much faster, but
the whole lamp was smooth. So you do one you
do if you don't want to kind of get what
it's supposed to be. Like I never got really good
enough because I'd kind I'd be doing two three races
and then there'd be a film. So I go to
a film and then the year goes by they come
back to it, which is not how you do it.

Speaker 2 (10:20):
I feel like you know, you're making me think of
like when new like Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, like
one you kind of get once you get the taste
of it, it gets in your blood.

Speaker 6 (10:29):
Yeah, welcome back to table for two.

Speaker 2 (10:52):
If you pulled up a chair, we're having lunch with
Michael Mann, one of Hollywood's biggest, biggest directors and a
director who's worked with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
Man's movies feature psychological depth and realism, and the characters
have truly intricate backstories. How does he manage to pull

the best performances out of so many amazing actors? The
litany of actors that you have in your film. I
mean you're you know, this is the master this is
the masterclass. I mean we have I'm just gonna name
for you know again, people listening, Michael's director, Jamie Fox,
Leo DiCaprio, char Lee's, Jason, Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Dustin Hoffman,

James Comm Daniel d Lewis de Niro, Kilmer, Russell Crowe,
Christopher Plumer, Will Smith, Tom Crisse.

Speaker 1 (11:41):
You're like, these are.

Speaker 2 (11:44):
The most iconic actors out there, So, like, one, do
you when you're going into a project and you're like, Okay,
this is Tom Cruise, do.

Speaker 1 (11:52):
You pivot in a way just like you have a
very clearly a.

Speaker 2 (11:56):
Very special talent in working with actors and any things
from them.

Speaker 1 (12:02):
Do you pivot based on their personalities, who they are,
what you know of their previous work?

Speaker 4 (12:09):
Like, how do you do it? How do you approach? Yeah?

Speaker 1 (12:10):
How do you?

Speaker 5 (12:12):
First of all, it's the deep dive into doing something
that hasn't been done before, you know, I think people
are always best when they're somewhat of a frontier and
the deep dive is is an adventure and and.

Speaker 3 (12:31):
Why not? I wouldn't I couldn't imagine wanting to do
it any other way.

Speaker 5 (12:34):
So first of all, someone's wanting to want to come
along on that, and then and then we really do
do that. So then it's it's so we're talking about
Tom and you know he was you know, three months
of training. I mean, uh, the of having a kind

of where's the socioposity of that character come from? You know,
who are these guys?

Speaker 3 (13:02):
For real? What are this? What are the real skill sets?

Speaker 5 (13:04):
And the first thing for me is it's always really
important is that I want the actor to be able
to do what his character does so thoroughly of such
expertise that when he's doing it in the film, he's
not thinking about it.

Speaker 3 (13:16):
It's a reflex. He just is that good.

Speaker 5 (13:19):
So that means a lot of time out of the
Melle County Sheriffs ranges with you know a lot of
safety and supervision and another thing of course, but but you know,
actually getting that good and then a lot of I
don't know, the second a d maybe he have the
second ad who in pre production went to the gym Monday,
Wednesday and Friday. On one Wednesday, at seven am, he's

leaving the gym. He's going his car he pops the trunk,
it feels a hand on his shoulder. There's a post
that just got stuck on his back. He turns around.
It's Tom who says you're dead. Because unbeknowned this guy
Tom had been tailing for an entire week.

Speaker 3 (13:54):
We got his behavioral patterns. We know where we parked
this car.

Speaker 5 (13:58):
This is where to do it because there's one way
and there's three exits out right, this is this is
the place, and you know, and then so so and
then it induces a certain kind of attitude and how
the sollisism of that character. So you know, there's a
lot of training that you know that goes on a lot.

Speaker 3 (14:16):
Of content with with people.

Speaker 5 (14:18):
In this case, a lot of it had to do
with a friend of mine who used to be in
charge of close quarter combat training for the British essay. Yes,
and there's been involved in so many different things.

Speaker 1 (14:29):
It's fascinating to me.

Speaker 2 (14:30):
You know, I think, you know, like you know the
so you know, if we go to heap and know
it's now and I rewatched it an anticipation of our lunch.
It's such a great movie. It's nineteen ninety five. It
stands attests of time. But like I thought to myself,
here's de Niro and Baccino, like two actors, next level actors.

It's this incredible action film. It's it's detective, it's bad guy.
It's all these complet complex things. And you don't choose,
you know, action heroes. You choose two guys actors that
are like okay, you know, you don't choose as Stallone
or Schwarzenegger, who are going to be a cop. What
spoke to you about these two guys saying okay, because

because these are smart?

Speaker 3 (15:13):
Well, two things. One one is one is you know
we're talking.

Speaker 5 (15:16):
About physical training and of things that you do. That's
just the surface of of acquiring character. I direct from
the inside out, so I think of it from the
inside out. So most of the directions, particularly on the set,
wants to who the who you are as an actor
and being grounded than that and having the skills that
you have. That's just the activity, that's not really the essences.

The essence is these circumstances are making you feel a
certain way. On said is because of who you are,
because we.

Speaker 3 (15:49):
Got the but who you who you are?

Speaker 5 (15:52):
We acquired that weeks of weeks and weeks ago, right,
they make you feel a certain way. So here's the circumstances,
and then a stimulum, Uh, the stimulus is coming out,
and which could be a line of dialogue or somebody
entering a room. And then the reaction I'm always looking
for is spontaneous. And so it's about programming and choreographing

to create a situation in which the actor of being
a certain character has a spontaneous reaction. And then with
the spontaneous reaction isn't working for the actor or me,
we change the circumstances.

Speaker 3 (16:27):
You're always trying to get to.

Speaker 5 (16:29):
The new and the cosmic opposite of be happy to
be said, the direct exactly the opposite, the polar opposite
of that from the inside out.

Speaker 3 (16:44):
So to me, he is a drama. It's not.

Speaker 5 (16:48):
It's not a genre. In genre means I maybe genre
is something I used to make dramas.

Speaker 3 (16:53):
I don't know. But to me, it's a drama. And
and I know what what de Niro's character.

Speaker 5 (16:59):
Was doing when he was enforced to care of the
fourth teenth foster family and hand me down clothes, being
ostracized by other eleven year olds, but making him angry
and anger makes you violence, and he was starting down
the road to juvie and gradiator academies and then hits
the streets working street crime is a very valuable component

because he's probably he has a very he has a
very strong aggressive ego, and he has in his self
esteem as rock bottom, which means he doesn't care.

Speaker 3 (17:31):
About his body what happens to him.

Speaker 5 (17:33):
And he's just aggressive, right, and that makes him dangerous
and violent, and that's where that's who he is when
he's seventeen eighteen nineteen, and now he starts to get educated,
you know, when he starts hitting a library to try
to figure it out. I killed myself or not because
I'm doing a lot of time at a time when
there are programs, And now he starts reading. And so

my experience when I was in fulsome prison, shooting cracle
a mile.

Speaker 3 (18:00):
But the way back when how.

Speaker 5 (18:02):
How how smart and how educated and well read a
lot of these guys were, and they were requiring knowledge
out of necessity. I want to understand my circumstances. I
want to understand my life. I'm doing, uh, you know
a lot of time, how do I How should I
view this?

Speaker 3 (18:20):
Should I do this time?

Speaker 5 (18:21):
Should I just be engaged in fantasy escapes, prison gangs
or should I you know?

Speaker 3 (18:27):
Or the and so you know.

Speaker 5 (18:29):
So that's the autodidactic uh evolution of Neil McCauley, who's
arrived at a state of place with no attachments and
a very precise program about how to succeed in what
he's doing.

Speaker 3 (18:44):
When he deviates for that.

Speaker 5 (18:45):
Program because of Edie and he's successful being spontaneous, he loses.

Speaker 3 (18:54):
All his navigational ability. He's like with out a rudder.

Speaker 5 (18:57):
And then he goes for Wingrow, which is something he'd
never allow himself to be seduced.

Speaker 3 (19:02):
And at the beginning of the film, right right, and
so then it becomes a story, you know.

Speaker 5 (19:06):
And then there was a big challenge in that film
to me, was so exciting about it is to have
everybody has everybody's three dimensional, Every character has a life.
Everybody character has things going on in their life and
rotating amongst all of them as it drives. And it
is dialectic to just the two guys Alan Bob, who

are unique in the sense that both of them are
totally self aware. There's no self deception, right, They're the
only two people like that.

Speaker 7 (19:36):
Within they made up universe of key.

Speaker 2 (19:49):
So when you're then looking at a character, you're looking
you know, you get the script or you write the
script or you see you're now doing the work.

Speaker 1 (19:57):
You Michael Mann, you're going back. It's what makes your.

Speaker 4 (20:00):
Movies so incredibly riveting.

Speaker 2 (20:03):
I now understand that all the sub that we don't
know the fact that okay, you know, he was fourteen
years old and this is what was happening in his
life that and this is what happened when he was
in prison, and like, we don't know that, but that's
vital to you.

Speaker 3 (20:21):
Bet it's vital.

Speaker 2 (20:22):
I mean, has it been challenging sometimes to sit with
I mean you you are working with, you know, incredible
people when they're not quite understanding if there's a difference
of saying like oh okay, like or it sounds like
there's also a spontaneity effect where you you allow the
room for like okay, well let's you know, how much

do you give them when you say, okay, this is
the backstory.

Speaker 5 (20:48):
Of oh all the backstories we go through reverendent, but
we do for little stuff. I mean, Bob and I
went to Falsome and we're walking on we're in the
yard you know, because this is where he spent like
this formative years of his life. Or some guy comes
up to us kind of a straw straw hat and

he said, hey, Mike, how you doing? And I said, okay,
how are you? And it took me a minute to
recognize this guy was a convict. So how are you
always it good? So my kids are okay, wasn't sheena?
Like one of my kids is at usc or something?
Wasn't cheto?

Speaker 3 (21:23):
Was something else?

Speaker 5 (21:24):
I don't And he's talking to me like we had
seen each other two months ago. So this is nineteen
ninety four. I saw this guy and knew this guy
in nineteen seventy nine. He was in prison, he was
in folsome like did a juacho mile?

Speaker 4 (21:38):
Okay? And and what's so you haven't seen him since
I have seen since?

Speaker 5 (21:42):
And what's so bizarre about it is how is this
guy processing time?

Speaker 1 (21:48):
Yeah? Okay, fascinating man.

Speaker 4 (21:52):

Speaker 3 (21:52):
And because you fifteen years of going by?

Speaker 5 (21:55):
Yeah, And I realized that, and I talked about that's
I realized that so much is uneventful. So all the
uneventful days into your collapse, and the only thing that
you recall the days in which there was an event.
So it's not three hundred and sixty five days a year.
It maybe seven, eight, nineteen, whatever it is, And so

time is processed in a different way.

Speaker 1 (22:18):
They just disappear.

Speaker 2 (22:20):
He's picking up where he left off. Yeah, they disappeared
and say, hey, Michael, how you doing. Like it's like
like you said so yesterday.

Speaker 4 (22:28):
This is wild.

Speaker 1 (22:29):
And I think the complexities of what you bring to
the characters.

Speaker 4 (22:32):
In your movies just you see it. You see it
in the actors.

Speaker 1 (22:38):
That's a that's a big bit.

Speaker 3 (22:39):
That's the actionable part of it. That's what it's there
to be. It informs so many things.

Speaker 5 (22:45):
The it's not good for a podcast that you're listening to,
but you see somebody picks up a glass of water
like this, Yeah, and folsom.

Speaker 3 (22:52):
You pick it up like this when he's clear something
about exactly when neural takes the the when.

Speaker 5 (23:01):
He has sucks at night the first time and he leaves,
he's wrapped the napkin around the glass. They that's because
it's absolutely habitual that you express yourself in the microcosm
of living in a small cell with few material objects,

and so you do things like use paper to wrap
around flash the glass to pick up the condensation. I
mean it was a kind of precision. Thing is absolutely
pushing habits. So you're picking up all these things, I mean,
all this.

Speaker 2 (23:38):
Stuff, and it's all in those details that you bring
that you know are so fascinating because I remember seeing
him put the glass down and not quite understanding what.

Speaker 1 (23:51):
But there was also a compassion to it.

Speaker 5 (23:54):
I felt there's both a compassions of generosity, compassion, and
something rangely precise about you know, the way he's folded
a spiece of paper.

Speaker 3 (24:05):
Right. And these anomalies are okay because of their current life.

Speaker 5 (24:09):
So if your audience and you're seeing anomalies that have
to have to be authentic.

Speaker 3 (24:14):
They can't be gratuitious. We're seeing these anomalies show up.

Speaker 5 (24:16):
I mean, why is there a burning car when Jeffrey Whygan,
an insider is coming off the freeway and may be arrested?

Speaker 3 (24:22):
The answers I don't know.

Speaker 4 (24:26):
But it felt like a really great thing to do.

Speaker 8 (24:30):
So it made some kind of subconscious sense, you know,
of all, you've done so many movies and you've done
incredible television.

Speaker 1 (24:48):
Was that a game changer? Was that like, oh this
is okay, this is.

Speaker 5 (24:52):
This is not not any I mean each one, not really,
I mean it was. I mean last Ohican's Hawkeye and
and his step follower and step brother.

Speaker 3 (25:05):
Are our face with the imminent annihilation.

Speaker 5 (25:08):
Of who they are, of who these people are, and
and they're also looking at what the progress, which is
the frontier, you know, as as that zone between where
we are and where we're gonna be, and how that
inform uh those issues informed that character. You know, he
was this large, quantitative you know uh fuglac things, which

best I loved about it. What you're really asking is,
you know, why do I do it? Well, that's os
They're all kinds of different and by the time I
got done doing that and I LEI, which had a
whole different but they're all there, all very large scale
narratives and physically they're they're big pictures too, but the.

Speaker 3 (25:56):
Narratives are all very large scale.

Speaker 5 (25:58):
So then that's why Collateral was so appealing to me,
because it took place in one night, and it's also
you know, totally refractive. Each character becomes the agent of
the other characters realizations.

Speaker 2 (26:21):
So he too, we're talking about he too here or
maybe and you know, you know, when you look at
something like He Too, and you look about the casting
of He Too.

Speaker 4 (26:32):
Like, are you in development of sort of like I'm
writing the screenplayer right now?

Speaker 1 (26:35):

Speaker 4 (26:36):
So is it like?

Speaker 5 (26:38):
And it comes from having so much background and then
projecting where some of these lives go. I had to
figure out is a device a story that can keep
the end of it and the beginning of it. There's
a prequel and a sequel starts eighty eight. It jumps
over the movie. It actually starts on the first day
after the end of the movie with val Calm. We're

trying to get out of Laka and he's half delirious
and wounded and half delirious. And then but then it
goes back to nineteen eighty eight and they're very different
people because they are They're not the people they are
in the movie. It's the events of eighty eight that
made them into the people that they are in the movie. Wait,
so de Nuro de Niro character Neil McCauley is deep

into a relationship with a woman. He has her stepdaughter,
he has all these attachments. Wow, and you know, and
then what happens with you know in two thousand and
tex Us into a whole different worlds of right, transnational
organized crime and shared a less stay was a pre
trade zone in South America and Southeast Asia, and it moves.

Speaker 1 (27:41):
I love it, do you. I didn't.

Speaker 2 (27:44):
I didn't realize A He Too was going to be
a prequel sort of bring you into sort of that
where they all came from, which is so fascinating, and
it's like, so such an opportunity. Do you, dude, once
you kind of make an announcement like that, but do
you just have litany of the crane by the crops
saying think of me, think of me, think of me.

Speaker 1 (28:04):
Do you actually write with anyone in mind to say, okay,
you know what this is?

Speaker 4 (28:09):
This actor?

Speaker 2 (28:10):
You know, because now you're also there with He Too.
It sounds like there's a since it's de Niro and
Pacino early that's forming potentially a casting or a thought process.

Speaker 3 (28:23):
I don't know. I can't. I can't.

Speaker 5 (28:25):
I mean, there's here's a couple of conversations with some people,
but I can't really completely chaost until the screenplay is right.

Speaker 1 (28:32):

Speaker 3 (28:32):
So, but the benefit here is that the book did
extremely well.

Speaker 5 (28:35):
When the book came out, you know, and the number
one New York times best solo, which is totally bizarre
for Epithets that I'd been.

Speaker 3 (28:42):
Writing a book period. That's secondly that it would actually
do well.

Speaker 2 (29:06):
Thanks for joining us on table for two. So many
of the characters in Michael Mann's films feel like they
could exist in the real world, and I'm interested to
know if he draws inspiration from the people he meets
in his day to day life. Is having dinner with
you maybe one of the most interesting things for people.
I mean, like, because you know, you seem like you're

just so interested in human behavior and human stories and
people's stories. Do you often find yourself just connecting with people?
And I think having dinner with you would be like
the most amazing thing because you would just be like,
if there's eight people at the table, you, I think,
in your mind even be like kind of trying to
understand where they came from.

Speaker 5 (29:50):
It's actually worse than that, because I actually when I
see somebody who's you know, is dressed or presenting themselves
extreme manner, I'm immediately thinking, if I have to have
a character like that, how do I get them to
be extreme? Oh, that's a good example. I'm constantly looking

at people like you never, you know, I mean that
is my wife is usually we've been married for four
to nine years, so she's used to this by now.
You know, our history is related to let's see that
was between this movie and that movie. Right the bas
are all like, oh yeah, that's when we're last the Mohicans,
you know, And so constantly I think, if I had

to career create a scene in a noisy restaurant with
strange looking people, you know.

Speaker 1 (30:36):
This is this isn't that person.

Speaker 2 (30:53):
One of the things that you do brilliantly and you've
made such like an effect, is you know, the music
you bring into your films, the cultural phenomenon of your films.

Speaker 1 (31:01):
You know, I know Miami Vice. You know, you made
film and Miami Vice.

Speaker 2 (31:06):
You also the television series that you know that you
set a tone of a whole decade. You know, that's
very interesting. And you also made TTV more like feature
which I mean the car races that you were doing
on the show, all that stuff way before, because you
know that's something that happens now, but you did it
way before. Like what did you look at TV as

a medium? And you know, going back to the listener,
you know Vegas, which I grew up. I could tell
you the Wednesday night lineup. It was Charlie eight is Enough,
Charlie's Angels Vegas, Like I remember that. I was watching those,
you know, that was my favorite night of television until
I was sent like, get your ass in bed, you know,
your school the next day after Vegas at eleven o'clock.

Speaker 1 (31:47):
Then were you surprised by that?

Speaker 2 (31:49):
But it's sort of like what happened that sort of
explosion with Donaldson.

Speaker 3 (31:53):
I wasn't surprised at all.

Speaker 5 (31:54):
In fact, there was a dinner that we had the
chast but back before the piloteer, and there with the
whole cast, picked.

Speaker 3 (32:01):
Dinner like twenty people.

Speaker 5 (32:02):
And I said to him and said, you don't understand
that after tomorrow night, your life's gonna be different.

Speaker 3 (32:09):
Nobody believed me.

Speaker 4 (32:10):
And the reason is.

Speaker 5 (32:11):
Because where as Tony Yorko wrote such a great script,
a two hour pilot for it was called Gold Coaster.
Originally I changed it to Miami Vice, but Tony created
the show. He wrote, he wrote it. It was such
a great idea, and you know, and then everything kind
of flows from that. You know, the world was amount

of Miami those days was beige the higher South Beach beige.
It's like there's some kind of World War ship plus
glut of tan paint it splighting into ul city bage.

Speaker 4 (32:48):
So really horrible.

Speaker 3 (32:50):
So and people and walkers and.

Speaker 5 (32:55):
And so you know, I did some research as to
what it looks like in the in the twenties and thirties,
you know, and then that's what all these viper pastels.

Speaker 2 (33:05):
So we changed it all back to the you created
South Beach. I mean, you created the whole thing that
continued on to Yeah, and some of the.

Speaker 5 (33:15):
Hotels that were now well no one had like you know,
bar doors and renting rooms by the hour and all
that stuff.

Speaker 2 (33:23):
That did you when you were casting Don Johnson, did
you say this is this is the guy. I mean,
you said this is the guy that like what was
it about don?

Speaker 5 (33:34):
You know that you said he had a certain whiskey
voice and a certain mentalents re pepperment that that was
just there was it was perfect for that for that character.
And he had he hadn't really landed on that a
thing that really walked and this this was and he
was just perfect for the guy. I mean, the same
time thing with Philip Michael Thomas, two of that and
then almost midway through the first season. It's because I

wanted I wanted the shows jesuit with a lowercase of jay.
I wanted a character who was represented the analogy. To me,
what I liked about the show was that it was
anti disco, right, Okay, this was I hated.

Speaker 3 (34:13):
This you did?

Speaker 4 (34:14):
Yes, I mean the music wasn't bad.

Speaker 1 (34:18):
It is very sexy.

Speaker 3 (34:19):
It was good music, but I hated so to me
it was you know, it was like you know, rock
and roll, you know, right, just like it was.

Speaker 1 (34:26):
Weaving those cards was all rock, no adult.

Speaker 5 (34:29):
I wanted somebody who had a sense of existential, sense
of authenticity, responsibility for your actions, and that.

Speaker 3 (34:35):
Became the almost yeah, almost his character.

Speaker 1 (34:39):
I mean skinny black though, yeah, the skin please.

Speaker 2 (34:41):
You created the whole look of my pastel suits with
T shirts underneath it, you know, like the whole color scheme.

Speaker 1 (34:46):
You changed what the colors men wore.

Speaker 2 (34:48):
How much time do you spend thinking about like the
I mean even the music, the sounds, you know, all
of that coming in big time?

Speaker 1 (34:56):

Speaker 5 (34:57):
To me, I I wanted, I like to have the
music and pre production, yeah, because sometimes if you could
find the right fish of music, it becomes a kind
of a poetic modul or of oh yeah, here's how
it's supposed to feel, so that when you find yourself
on a Tuesday lost, like wait in.

Speaker 3 (35:12):
A minute, what am I doing here? Why is this
the way that should go?

Speaker 4 (35:16):
This way?

Speaker 3 (35:17):
That direction?

Speaker 5 (35:18):
I could's piece of music and say, oh yeah, this
is how I'm supposed to This is how this scene's
supposed to make me fail. You know.

Speaker 2 (35:23):
So the music is really important, even you know, heat
the music was like it's just gripping of all this,
Like this posse of human beings that you've worked with,

that you have directed that you have to make really
brought out these incredible performances. Was there anyone that you
know walking in that you were like, Okay, I'm either
super nervous about it, or I'm a little hesitant about it.

Speaker 1 (35:59):
Or like, guy, I'm like, wow, this is I don't
know what's going to happen here.

Speaker 5 (36:03):
You know, usually before I'm going to work with de
Niro or or Petrino, I'm you know, obviously, I know
that I have to there there, I know where they are.
I know I have my game has got to be
to be at the top of my game. Yeah, I
have to know absolutely everything. And I think that when
you're totally prepared and you know what everything, that liberates

you to also be improvisational, to be spontaneous. You could
do it off the confidence of having a really solid,
really solid platform. And then it's it's, uh, you know,
it's my responsibility. I view it to be able to
talk to that actor in the language work that's that

he uses about exacting process, so there is no school
in the Fox. I would be directing Bail in a
different way that I'd be directing Alibab or yeah, or
or or or animal. You know, Penelope the one actor
who I can say I was absolute sweetheart, but I
was was very distant, not that just distant in a

good way because he was so self contained, which was
John Voight.

Speaker 3 (37:10):
And I'm talking about John Voyd, you know, prior to
ninety five.

Speaker 5 (37:13):
I'm talking about in the late eighties, early nineties, and
of absolutely the same stature as Ala, Bob or John.
And one of the one about one of the one
of the real thrills of working on Heat is that
we became like an ensemble company. So Valve would show
up for a scene he wasn't in to see how
Bob was going to do something or Al's isn't so?

And I'd known John and he would. We used to
We've met a couple of times for coffee at Duke's
when Dukes was out of Santa Michael Boulevard, and you know,
and there was always something I'll steer about him. Yeah,
and you know, and then the absolutely dreamed to work
with and then we worked again as as he hilarious.
Was the most difficult times I had was on the
set of Ali with with with John as Howard Cassell,

because after four hours of makeup, he was Howard Coselle NonStop.

Speaker 3 (38:02):
And then he had you know, Jamie Fox and Will Smith. Ye.

Speaker 5 (38:06):
Once we're setting up lighting, these guys are talking to
twenty five hundred extras and it becomes, you know, all kind.

Speaker 4 (38:12):
Of cabaret and it stups.

Speaker 3 (38:15):
And I never had a character, and so it was hilarious.
So everybody's standing around, I'm trying twenty minutes.

Speaker 4 (38:23):
Come on, I've got to like you.

Speaker 1 (38:26):
Is great.

Speaker 2 (38:36):
I've really enjoyed my lunch with Michael Mann today, and
I hope you have to. In addition to being an
amazing director, he has a ton of fascinating tales. And
I wonder, given his lengthy and illustrious career, what lessons
has he learned along the way.

Speaker 1 (38:53):
Do you have any advice that.

Speaker 2 (38:55):
Was given to you in your life that changed your
life when it came to movies and filmmaking, or you know,
early on, or advice that you would give because he's
changed so much, the business changed so much.

Speaker 3 (39:06):
I had a man who was a the Tripper guy
named bab Luwan, and he was.

Speaker 5 (39:12):
He was running the writing on a on the show
I was about to go forward, and he read a
script I wrote, and he said, his dialogue is really great,
and you would not know what the story was if
it ran you over.

Speaker 4 (39:25):
So I'm gonna teach you you know the story is,
you know.

Speaker 5 (39:32):
And he kind of became a mentor for me in
writing about story structure. The show was Starskin Hutch and
that I wrote, Uh. Bill Blynn wrote the pilot, But
then the pilot aired and in a year later the
episodes came on.

Speaker 3 (39:44):
So I wound up writing the first four or five
of the of the of the opening season as it
turned out.

Speaker 5 (39:50):
But but he really absolutely mentored me and a very
formalist approach the story the story and the and again
the rigid kind of authenticity that's really required to write
the story structure, and you can't indulge yourself in all
the disciplines.

Speaker 2 (40:09):
Stark another fan favorite of mine growing up. I mean,
those were those were all and they all were mixed
with you know, the crime, solving it humor, Huggy Bear.
You know, you had all these characters that were very
kind of complex too, like you know, and as you know.

Speaker 5 (40:29):
There's also a cigarette I discovered I wrote in the
line of dialogue they drive a truck through the front
window of a store. And then I was watching the
episode and they drove a truck to the front window.

Speaker 3 (40:39):
Of a store. Because I wrote it, I realized I
could write this stuff and people are.

Speaker 5 (40:47):
Going to go do it.

Speaker 3 (40:50):
There's cool. So a young writer, you know, in the
early Stemmaries, this was like a real revelation.

Speaker 2 (40:58):
You were an amazing filmmaker and having lunch with you
on Table for two is an honor, sir, Thank you
for joining me today.

Speaker 4 (41:07):

Speaker 1 (41:07):
Everyone who's pulled up at go Sie Ferrari and mister Man,
thank you so much.

Speaker 3 (41:12):
Thank you really pleasure.

Speaker 2 (41:22):
Table for two with Bruce Bosi is produced by iHeartRadio
seven three seven Park and Airmail. Our executive producers are
Bruce Bosi and Nathan King. Our supervising producer and editor
is Dylan Fagan. Table for two is researched and written
by Jack Sullivan. Our sound engineers are Jess Crainich, Evan
Taylor and Jesse Funk. Our music supervisor is Randall Poster.

Our talent booking is done by Jane Sark. Table for
two Social media manager is Gracie Wiener. Special thanks to
Amy Sugarman, Uni Sharer, Kevin y Vane, Bobby Bauer, Alison Kanter, Graber,
Barbara Jen, Jeff Klein, and the staff at The Tower
Bar in a world famous Sunset Tower hotel in Hollywood.

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