Ah Miami: a haven of palm trees, smiling faces, security and Edith Bowman. Wait a minute…we’ve been duped! It’s Leicester Square and – yep, it’s just started raining. Oh hooray for England. It’s the premiere of Miami Vice and Leicester Square’s been somewhat damply turned into the East Coast’s most notorious sunshine city, palm trees and all, for the premiere of Miami Vice.
Even with crème de la crème of the UK’s tabloid lovelies on hand (and Ewan McGregor) the Yanks still outdid us in sheer volume of bling. While we got Nicky from Big Brother, Liberty X and, er, Caprice, the diamonds came with Outkast’s Big Boi, sporting a rock that would happily accommodate Alcatraz.
Despite reeling off some pretty fruity English in the film, leading Vice lady Gong Li had brought her interpreter with her which, along with a rather nervous smile meant interviews were off. Fellow star Naomie Harris, who plays Jamie Foxx's wife and is well into the premiere swing post-Pirates, grinned as she ran past to chat to screaming fans despite her extremely white trouser suit rapidly soaking up the rain, and Colin Farrell (mercifully sans his Vice hair-abomination) and Foxx zipped round signing autographs, with Farrell kissing a great many blushing cheeks (not ours though, dammit.)
Director Michael Mann seemed quite relieved at not being screamed at, wryly commenting on the damp Square: “I brought the weather with me from Miami!”
So, Miami Vice then. It’s not a remake (no alligators for a start), but as Mann produced the television series, it must have been a serious sprint down memory lane? “I wasn’t really revisiting, it was really taking the attitude with which we made the show, taking it from 1984 and putting it in 2006, except this time we’re doing everything for real,” he says. Sadly, the pastel shirts and loafers are missing. “That’s got to stay in 1984, you gotta buy the DVD!”
While this is Mann’s third film with Jamie Foxx, it was his first with the notorious Farrell. Disappointingly, the Irishman seems to have behaved himself. “Colin, he had his stuff together from day one, the man is solid,” Mann says admiringly. “He trained hard, he trained for weeks for both and he got great at it. We took him out to race tracks in Willow Springs in LA and in Miami – ’most everything on screen he did himself.”
It must have been a bit gutting to watch everyone else going GTA on cars and boats – was he tempted to take them for a spin? “They’re pretty hard to say no to!” he laughs. “When you’re out in a Super Cat doing 80 miles an hour over six-foot ocean swells it’s almost a religious experience.” He offered the standard tentative line on any sequels: “If I have an idea for a story that I think I want to do then we’ll see what happens,” which in Hollywoodese roughly translates as, ‘If it makes enough cash then by crikey, yes.’
Jamie Foxx, looking a bit scared by the sheer volume of screaming and weeping fans at one point, reclaimed his cool when it came to talking about the movie. Well, as much as you can have in a cream suit, loafers and lilac shirt. “I asked very politely if Michael Mann would please allow me to be in the film, maybe do a couple of lines or hang out,” he grins. “To be able to watch the beautiful Naomi Harris, hang out with the beautiful Naomi Harris – wow.” Michael Mann might have steered clear of the 80s for the film but Foxx’s outfit had more than a hint of it. “I’m rocking a bit of the lilac,” he laughs, “but the film’s not like the series, it’s a whole different thing!”
With Farrell still conscientiously doing the fans’ circuit up until the last minute, he could only shriek: “Mullets are never coming back!” at us before being jostled into the cinema by his people. Ah well, never mind Colin. We’ll propose to you another day.