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).
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: