"I WAS OFFERED A MOVIE THAT WENT ON TO BECOME A VERY BIG MOVIE"
Talking to Collider's Maggie Lovitt, Don Johnson mentions "a story that I don't think I've ever revealed to anyone" --
When you look at your resume, you see all of these very iconic characters. What is it like for you as an actor to have those iconic characters on your resume and for that to be what people recognize you for?
JOHNSON: For me, I mean, I just have this blessed career, and that people, my fans and the audience out there, tend to follow me into whatever adventure I'm going on. The biggest challenge was to break the stereotype of Sonny Crockett.
To that end, during that time - I'll tell you a story that I don't think I've ever revealed to anyone - I was offered a movie that went on to become a very big movie. The character was a slick-dressing - it was a period piece - but he was a slick-dressing guy, and it was all about the bad guys and the FBI, and all that stuff, and at the time I said, "Okay, I've got to not do this if I want to have a career outside of the slicky boy hero type. I've got to not take this part," even though I know it's going to be pretty good, and I loved the director. He was a friend of mine. It was a Brian De Palma film, I'll give you that much.
I turned it down, and I've struggled with that over the years, but I also think that it was the difference between me being identified forever as Sonny Crockett, even though it was a different film. It's just kind of when you do something that's similar, then you further get yourself put into a box of, "Oh, well this is who he is," and it's a challenging thing. So, I've been very fortunate in that I've been able to play a variety of different characters, and the audience will follow me and go with me everywhere, and honestly, I think it comes down to the training and the preparation.
In the De Palma documentary, De Palma told Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow that for The Untouchables, "Well, first we had to find Eliot Ness, and I wanted to use Don Johnson, because I knew Don, and he was very big in Miami Vice now. And Art [Linson] felt very strongly about Kevin [Costner]..."