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Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx Talk About Miami Vice

Farrell and Foxx Team Up to Discuss the Miami Vice Movie


Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx Talk About Miami Vice

Colin Farrell in Miami Vice.

© Universal Pictures
Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell star in the big screen adaptation of the hit 1980s TV series, Miami Vice, which was executive produced by Michael Mann. Mann wrote and directed this updated and grittier take on the world of undercover Miami cops, with Farrell and Foxx taking over the roles of Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs originally played by Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas on TV.

The Appeal of Miami Vice the Movie: Foxx said he took on the role in Miami Vice because of, in his words, the “hotness of the idea” and because it was Michael Mann in charge. “When I talked to Michael Mann, and just learned about who Michael Mann was, I made a couple rookie mistakes, saying, ‘Why don’t you do Miami Vice? You did it as a television show… And we do Jay-Z and we do this and we do that...’ He was like, ‘Get out of here!’ But after enough of me going up to him and saying, ‘Look, I really think that this is a great opportunity for you to take a commercial hit, a franchise, and bring the real film capability that Michael Mann has together.’ So, now, we’re all protected in the sense of we’re doing a big-time summer movie, but it’s still held together by the Michael Mann way of thinking. That’s why I wanted to do it.”

Colin Farrell added, “It was Jamie’s idea. I had been talking to Michael for a couple of years about finding something to do together, and then this came along and it was just the perfect opportunity. I knew that Michael, from the onset, wanted to get… We all know he can handle an action sequence, whether it’s the piece that he did with The Last of the Mohicans or whether it’s that very famous scene in Heat, he can understand the choreography of an action sequence - and a very highly volatile one. But unless it’s backed up with some human drama, and unless you have some kind of emotional investment in the characters…

He understands that the validity of doing big-scale things isn’t there unless you really do care about the characters that you’re watching. So with that in mind, I didn’t really think much about good old Don Johnson. If I was to think about the early Crockett, I would have been in f***kin’ trouble because I would have been arguing with him over the suits that I wanted to wear, and no socks with my slip-ons, and all that kind of stuff. And, ‘Where’s my crocodile?’ Jamie said that he met Don in a restaurant in Los Angeles and [to Foxx] what did he say?”

Foxx answered: “You tell Colin Farrell when he’s through with my jock strap, to give it back.” Laughing, Farrell said, “I’m still waiting but it never arrived - the jock strap. It might have added something interesting to the character. ‘Why is he always itching his balls? He’s wearing Don Johnson’s jock strap.’ But, no, Miami Vice the TV show was the original genesis for this piece, but we approached it from…a very contemporary standpoint. It’s its own entity, really.”

Colin Farrell’s In-Depth Analysis of His Character’s Romantic Relationship: “Isabella [Gong Li] and Crockett are two people who find each other in the wrong place, at the wrong time, though they’re the right people. That’s the unfortunate thing about what transpires between the two of them. To quote good old Jerry Maguire, they do kind of complete each other. They are two people that live in very volatile environments. He’s on one side of the law and this woman, Isabella, is on the other side of the law. They come together in what is a very dangerous idea and a very bad idea. The scene they have in Havana, they say at the bar, ‘You know, this is never going to last. It’s never going to work,’ but they find in each other, in that act of making love, that it’s almost overwhelming. It’s almost too much to take.

Crockett’s someone that would have had one night stands over the years, prolifically, and never be emotionally attached to anyone, and one of the primary reasons would be the work that he involves himself in. But he finds, with this woman, someone that seems to make complete sense, perfect sense. And so doing our scene together was just about emotional investment or emotional realization, in seeing some of yourself - maybe the best of yourself, and none of the worst - in the other person. But there is something quite tragic to it, as well, I suppose.”

Page 2: Comparing the Movie to the Miami Vice TV Series and Keeping Things Fresh

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