Mitch Glazer’s ‘Magic City’ Guide: Episode 1 – Danny Huston Suffered Near-Delirious Heat Stroke

by | April 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM | Magic City

Danny Houston as Ben Diamond in Magic City (Starz Entertainment)

Join us each week as “Magic City” writer-creator Mitch Glazer offers an insider’s guide to one critical scene from the 50s-era drama after it airs on Starz (Fridays, 10/9c).

Set Your DVR for the Next Episode of “Magic City”

For the premiere episode (“The Year of the Fin”), Glazer focuses on the first onscreen interaction between hotelier Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Ben Diamond (Danny Huston), Ike’s not-so-silent Miramar partner — and a frighteningly menacing (and sweaty) adversary:

Mitch Glazer: When I was a seventh grader in Miami Beach selling Krisrpy Kreme donuts for Unicef, I think it was, I went to a mansion in our neighborhood to try my donut luck. The maid led me around the back to a green lawn that rolled down to the seawall and Biscayne Bay. The owner, a deeply-tan, middle-aged man in a speedo was lying on a round redwood deck, sunbathing. He looked over at me, sweating in the sun with my boxes of donuts, pushed a button on his remote control and the deck revolved, very slowly, to where I waited. I sold him a box and watched him return the lazy sauna deck to the ideal sunbathing angle.

That was the inspiration for Ben Diamond’s deck.

I love this first Ben/Ike scene. Ike swelters in his suit and tie, while Ben lies motionless like a happy lizard, baking in the sun. The day we shot the scene it was a hundred degrees and nearly a hundred percent humidity. I begged Danny Huston to come into the air-conditioning or at least the shade between takes but Danny felt the heat gave him a slow, lazy, dangerous quality that he could use as Ben. True, but after a couple of hours it also pushed him to near delirious heat-stroke. Danny somehow beautifully delivered what I think is a magnificent scene but spent the night home in feverish pain.

Watch the First Ben/Ike Scene Below:

Watch an Exclusive Sneak Peek From Episode 2: