MIAMI VICE: Press Conference Interviews
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VICE: Press Conference Interviews, continued
Foxx: Why call it ‘Miami Vice’? I don’t understand that question. You saw ‘Starsky and Hutch,’ but it wasn’t anything like [the original]. Do you understand what I’m saying? You’re not taking ‘Miami Vice,’ the series. You’re taking the spirit of that and you’re doing the movie.
Foxx: I’ll put it to you this way -- I understand
exactly what you’re saying. I believe this movie is
high risk, high return because you do go away from what you think
it is. But, you can’t keep re-hashing it. It’s
like watching the dunk contest today. You can’t go
in and do the Dr. J dunk anymore because you’re kind of past
that, so if you come from the free-throw line, you’ve seen
it. But, if you’re wearing Dr. J’s jersey, and
you bounce it off the backboard from the back, and then you dunk
it, you’ve got the spirit of Dr. J and you changed it. Did
that do it for you?
Mann: Everybody went through training, and went through
a lot of it. A lot of hard work went into it, and they look
good because they are good, and they are good because they really
can do everything that we see in the film, including all of the
physical stuff. The most difficult thing to acquire is all
the skills that I think these folks have, in terms of really being
in an undercover situation. When they’re confronted
at Jose Yero’s, and these guys have responses, and they accuse
Yero of being the man hooked up with the DEA, or the street theater
that they put down on Isabella in the house, when they pretend
that they’re bringing back the dope which we know they stole,
and the skill and the self-confidence they have came from lots
of scenarios that Colin and Jamie and Naomie and Gong Li did, with
real folks who really do do this stuff. They did simulations
that were very, very realistic, and they did it a lot. I’m
real proud of their work, and the benefit of it is what you see
Mann: It’s a different subject. If I took you through the first two years’ episodes, which I consider to be the real core of ‘Miami Vice,’ these are exactly the kind of stories that were being told. They were poignant, they were emotional, they weren’t happy endings. So, there were these kind of stories. And then, there was some lighter stuff that would enter in, once in awhile.
Farrell: As I remember it, and a lot of people I know
remember it, ‘Miami Vice’ only became camp in hindsight. At
the time, it was a really cutting edge show. The subject
matter was really dark -- drugs, prostitution, so on and so forth
-- with Crockett’s backstory, with his two children and his
wife. Some very reality-based situations were dealt with
very honestly, for the time, and as you said, this has just been
elevated to today’s modern age. I saw a twinkle in
Jamie’s eye when I was watching it.
Mann: Somebody reminded me of a line in the pilot. Tony
Yerkovich wrote the pilot, and created ‘Miami Vice,’ and
there was a line in the pilot where a woman says to Crockett, “Do
you sometimes forget who you are?” And, he says, “Darlin’,
sometimes I remember who I am.” And, that is the core
of that character, and the volatility of Tubbs and the way he would
rise to anger. One episode, he gets furious because somebody
shoots at him with a machine gun ‘cause machine guns scare
him, and when he gets scared, he gets really angry. That
spirit is the same in these characters. These characters,
in that sense, in their hearts and their souls and what they reach
down into when they really have
to rise to the occasion, are identical. So, the center of
these people is the same.
Farrell: Oh, it was tough.
Mann: I don’t, really. But, when I’m
making a movie, the integrity has to be about making that drama,
and if somebody was to be a smoker because that’s what his
character would do, he would smoke.
Mann: No. It was a Cuban woman, and that was
it. I’ve wanted to work with Gong Li for a long time,
and there is a very vibrant Chinese Cuban community in Havana,
which we visited and spent substantial time with. And, I
know Luis Tosar from a film he did with Javier Bardem that hasn’t
been released here. And, John Ortiz knocked me out in ‘Narc,’ so
he just had to be Jose Yero.
Mann: I don’t story board. I do something else, which is I block it. We then train to the blocking. In other words, when everybody’s training, they’re actually training a lot of the moves that we are definitely going to use, and then, I do a lot of photography of that, and that becomes where the cameras go.
Jamie, you obviously play a very good, cool guy in this movie, and you seem to be a cool, likeable guy in real life. The article that Kim Masters wrote kind of portrays you as the bad guy, as far as the making of this film was concerned. Would you like to comment about what was said?
Mann: That’s just nonsense.
Mann: Yeah. The article is nonsense, and a lot
of the perspective of the article is nonsense.
Farrell: The second week into the shoot, me and Jamie were killing each other, and I hadn’t even met him yet.
Mann: These guys weren’t getting along, and we were finishing the movie in Peru. That was one story.
Foxx: But, that makes the opening [bigger]. “Let’s
go see what all the hubbub’s about.” You let
all that go. Everybody descended on Miami. People were
coming to Miami just ‘cause we were shooting down there. I’ve
read crazy, crazy stuff that wasn’t true, but I think it
all plays into the hands of making people get up in there and get
them tickets, and see what’s going on.
Farrell: Yeah, we’re in the same film together. That’s all it really takes, you know. It doesn’t take much.
Mann: We knew we were going into a major hurricane
season in Miami ‘cause we were shooting in the summer. All
you have to do is go on the web and look up the U.S. Weather Bureau,
and you find out the history of hurricanes in Miami keeps getting
worse, so we knew it, we provided for it in production’s
deal with the studio -- what would happen, officially, on this
picture if there was a tropical storm watch to tropical storm warning
to hurricane watch to hurricane warning. So, we all knew
this was common and we prepared for it, and we were a lot more
fortunate, in our circumstances, to weather these hurricanes than
a lot of the local folks were, and certainly everybody in New Orleans
that got hit by Katrina. And then, we had this shooting incident,
and that went public. Absolutely, that happened. Our
security precautions that we had prepared worked flawlessly. That’s
why a guy who was, in fact, a policeman was stopped by uniformed
Dominican military, which was our outer-perimeter security. We
take safety very, very seriously on every film I make, and that’s
why I’ve never had a serious accident or anybody killed,
when I make a picture. Everybody had to leave in a very prescribed
way. And then, I was not going to shoot in the Dominican
Republic anymore because we didn’t know what the backstory
was. You have to think about these things. Does this
guy have five brothers? Do they have a lot of animosity with
the military that you don’t know about, and now they’re
blaming Gong Li, or something? Who knows. So, you change
the stuff you’re doing. That’s the process. The
important thing is not the process. The important thing is
Mann: You always do it. I asked myself, way
in the beginning, how should this story tell itself? And,
one of the things that attracted me to ‘Collateral,’ by
the way, was the fact that it was a really tight construction,
and I always felt the [‘Miami Vice’] story should be
tight. You should be dropped into their lives and just taken
away from it. I think audiences are really smart and they’re
really intelligent, and I think that you can place the audience
almost like they’re right on Jamie and Colin’s shoulder,
and you don’t have to explain, “Well, now we’re
going to go into this club and maybe this pimp, Neptune, is going
to show up.” You don’t have to go through all
that. You can bring the audience, hopefully, into a much
more immediate experience of what these guys do and how they do
it. You don’t have to be inside a joke, you can be
a participant in a joke. And so, the movie tells its story
that way, and I wanted it to have an intensity and a drive, where
BANG, you’re in it. And then, when that movie ends,
it cuts to black, and that’s as much of this story as we’re
telling right now. So, consequently, I have to make a lot
of really difficult, hard, heart-breaking decisions, sometimes,
about material that is really great and that I really love, and
people do fabulous work in. Unfortunately, I have to serve
the greater good of the experience of the picture. So, the
stuff will absolutely be on the DVD.
Colin: I sign.
Gong Li: There are a lot of things that you don’t have to use language to communicate. You can use eye contact, body language, and so on. That’s what art is about.
MIAMI VICE OPENS ON JULY 28
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