You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in ‘Magic City’

Road to the Emmys 2012: The Actor

When Jeffrey Dean Morgan read Mitch Glazer’s script for Starz’s “Magic City,” about a mob-connected Jewish hotelier in the center of the cultural-political-criminal hotbed that was 1959 Miami, what attracted Morgan to the character of Ike was what grounded him, not what threatened him.

“He has to play the part of the cool customer at all times and a lot of his position is about image, what he puts out there for people to see,” says Morgan. “I think at heart, though, he’s a family man, which I love. All the crazy shit that goes on around him needs to take a backseat most of the time to his family, which he would protect from anything. That’s what made the character for me.”

His first meeting with creator Glazer, who based the series on his experiences growing up at that time, was the clincher for Morgan.

“We were like twins separated at birth,” says the actor, whose last big TV roles were on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Supernatural.” “I trust him implicitly. It’s one of the first times in my career where I feel I have a real partner on the set in him.”

Over the eight episodes of the first season, which was filmed primarily in a warehouse near Miami Intl. Airport, Morgan had the most fun acting opposite Danny Huston’s oily gangster Ben Diamond.

“I feel every time Ike walks away from a conversation with Ben, he’s getting away with his life, and it adds a tension to everything,” Morgan says. “My favorite stuff is with Danny because I don’t know what to expect. It’s nice knowing you’re playing tennis with someone like that, who just ups your game.”

It also helps getting into character when you’re surrounded by exquisite period sets and sporting sleek menswear of the era.

“I put my suit and tie clip on, walk on to the most beautiful sets I’ve ever seen, and I’m thrown into 1959 Miami,” he says. “It’s my hotel, and I feel like that.”

More TV

  • Tavis Smiley Accuses PBS of Racial

    Tavis Smiley Accuses PBS of Racial Bias in Contract Lawsuit

    When Jeffrey Dean Morgan read Mitch Glazer’s script for Starz’s “Magic City,” about a mob-connected Jewish hotelier in the center of the cultural-political-criminal hotbed that was 1959 Miami, what attracted Morgan to the character of Ike was what grounded him, not what threatened him. “He has to play the part of the cool customer at […]

  • Phillipa Soo

    'Hamilton' Star Phillipa Soo Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'The Code'

    When Jeffrey Dean Morgan read Mitch Glazer’s script for Starz’s “Magic City,” about a mob-connected Jewish hotelier in the center of the cultural-political-criminal hotbed that was 1959 Miami, what attracted Morgan to the character of Ike was what grounded him, not what threatened him. “He has to play the part of the cool customer at […]

  • 'Silicon Valley' Gives First Look at

    'Silicon Valley' Drops First Trailer for T.J. Miller-less Season 5 (Watch)

    When Jeffrey Dean Morgan read Mitch Glazer’s script for Starz’s “Magic City,” about a mob-connected Jewish hotelier in the center of the cultural-political-criminal hotbed that was 1959 Miami, what attracted Morgan to the character of Ike was what grounded him, not what threatened him. “He has to play the part of the cool customer at […]

  • Tony Hernandez

    Imagine Entertainment Acquires Tony Hernandez's Jax Media

    When Jeffrey Dean Morgan read Mitch Glazer’s script for Starz’s “Magic City,” about a mob-connected Jewish hotelier in the center of the cultural-political-criminal hotbed that was 1959 Miami, what attracted Morgan to the character of Ike was what grounded him, not what threatened him. “He has to play the part of the cool customer at […]

  • Joe Morton

    'Scandal' Star Joe Morton Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'God Friended Me'

    When Jeffrey Dean Morgan read Mitch Glazer’s script for Starz’s “Magic City,” about a mob-connected Jewish hotelier in the center of the cultural-political-criminal hotbed that was 1959 Miami, what attracted Morgan to the character of Ike was what grounded him, not what threatened him. “He has to play the part of the cool customer at […]

  • Bryan Cranston

    TV News Roundup: Bryan Cranston's 'Dangerous Book for Boys' Sets Amazon Premiere Date

    When Jeffrey Dean Morgan read Mitch Glazer’s script for Starz’s “Magic City,” about a mob-connected Jewish hotelier in the center of the cultural-political-criminal hotbed that was 1959 Miami, what attracted Morgan to the character of Ike was what grounded him, not what threatened him. “He has to play the part of the cool customer at […]

  • Miranda Otto

    Netflix's 'Sabrina' Series Casts 'Lord of the Rings' Alum Miranda Otto

    When Jeffrey Dean Morgan read Mitch Glazer’s script for Starz’s “Magic City,” about a mob-connected Jewish hotelier in the center of the cultural-political-criminal hotbed that was 1959 Miami, what attracted Morgan to the character of Ike was what grounded him, not what threatened him. “He has to play the part of the cool customer at […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content