Don Johnson on 'Knives Out', 'Nash Bridges' and 'Miami Vice'

The actor talks to Peter Travers about his newest role in the film "Knives Out."
23:06 | 12/06/19

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Transcript for Don Johnson on 'Knives Out', 'Nash Bridges' and 'Miami Vice'
Bad is that who done it of sorts. But to me it's the most fun that I've had at the movies this year it's called knives out. In one of the stars is like that they got Johnson. Got ahead here today RC. Special little torture chamber we Eileen it is built for do I know there's been of the black. Inside the black kind of yeah so well and people confessed when they sit in this chair I'll tell you anything anything you want when bird in yourself this is. Hey you know I'm I'm ready if it is limited to push the bug OK yeah who did now. This is a movie that actually begins with the murder but again like we know it. It well at it the interesting thing is is that in the first ten minutes you seen the actual death. He actual murder EC and so without knowing what without knowing what is your meant to see here what went you know there. And then he's been. The next couple hours haven't liked watching he's. Incredibly beautifully flawed polls. Now do you know entitled. All I really. Hilarious people it's Christopher Plummer irked her that murdered right and he's having his 85 birthday. And yes. This all star cast including U. I looked at that went in at any one of these best guided. Yet act cast is that you know they the interesting thing that happened is that. When we got together to make this movie all came together pretty fast. And then we will be arrived and we shot out outside of Boston towards Wellesley. In this in that house. Man and we all had these beaten an enormous trailers now more than 200 yards. And we never used. All we did we'd go downstairs in the basement of this house we picked a room. Like this. That more frantic but that's what are you a little or few good. Let we would sit around and tell stories about the movie's lead and ask. In I'd ask Daniel Daniel Craig about you know what actually about the extent and chameleon and upon at this Manhattan. He would ask me about things that we have done Christopher Plummer and and I known Christopher furlong time week we've held out coupled bar stools and in San Francisco I'm not shocked and concurs and if you is that she he's still. Well it worked out pretty well because he plays my wife and the thing and I sort of works start blossoming around okay. Why not now. And Captain America as your son he actress Emma trip. Yeah and a it's an oral. Sure everybody is just there data that hate other worlds separate places. There's a lot of movies that I see sometimes where I think the actors are having a great time but I'm ought. This case. It's bread from what you guys were dealing. To the audience when we see it I know it's infectious and brilliance and a and that's harder now than it actually to make that. Yeah you know that it that did the extraordinary extraordinary thing about this movie. If we didn't have a table read. We didn't hurt. We just showed up on the first day. And you know it's not an uncomplicated. Know they're decent people have again and so we showed up on the first day and we we start to go and and and I here today I hit the tone that I think is right and lo and behold. Jamie Lee oh. Tosses the ball back to Scott same opponent and we started to roll and it reveals sort of you know did their thing and and we kind of brought that sense of joy in and in the moment this dude this. Tuesday to the to the two knives. And I think that that's what you feel bad that Julian on kind of write what it's like. You lifted up but it has a very contemporary kind of spin on yeah you should explain Richard who over that I ever read best. Isn't and whether they're all horrible people there are but IE he is kind of the personification. Of they great. I loved him because he doesn't do. Then have a job. Doesn't do anything needs is delay you know he's the personification. Of entitled. The lives off of his wife in the family homeless I I sort of played him like. Like one of those country club guys can walk route half of buzz Otto without. And and I hay eight. Yep people you need to see this and when they do they can think export that you're well he can thank you you're welcome you're welcome because it's a lot. And then I have to bring this to because it's so great is watch on HBO. You know. I've seen you do a lot of great things right from the beginning you know even Miami Vice. Where when people think of it now and they think of how you're dressed them this island. And. This suits the Versailles T and T shirts and a whole deal though stocks now started a complete fashion trend but it was it would encourage. Oh yeah I was a little annoyed by in the beginning when there's eight as his flop it style over substance sometimes violent. This I totally believe we managed to get some you know I tell them your Golden Globe. It's true. But them. Yen. I've been forced. Some some meaty parts of the just mean you'll show HBO thing is that is is it is trip sorry don't open them. It's Odyssey has helped this back. Right at the the the the writer creator of the Dave and one lifeless. I think I gave me his first job on Nash and you don't quite remember her on a ME and I know that Italy's first I'll do what it is like him. Yeah I guess yeah and then he went on of course to. Oh loss due to lost and he didn't like that you for giving him to know now. And waiting for. It's true they it and they. They should I should be getting from all its guys John Ryan in Carlton used only. I mean so many people came out of that that little. Incubator had gone there. Well I mean those knows that bridges in mind and that's where long running show and it which you're playing cops deal and I remember hearing you do an interview once that I'm done without. You know he while are as sheriff drug. Oh oh I asked. Ford judges today and around yes that's. You. Can. But there's something in that role. I know I don't get killed by anything too much about it but approach both. Will you be special. Op. So are you guilty he acted did it. But it's such a wonderfully complex. Charming care. Thank you might have. If there are many other level he and what's happening in. Yet and well when I seen Emmy nomination that 20. Publisher partners. I don't vote for the its use but yeah but I don't think. You know ever listen every reality starts somewhere with a rumor. At eight aren't jobs you've heard it here of therefore I give you know I don't know I'm not getting. At yeah that it is that. A lot of fun to do too because it was. I didn't. Have a character who can be a family dinner and get up and do Rodgers him. And make everybody. Feel I wanna be around this you know it was just balls again and fabulous to one you know. And I felt about it because. Damon. Column he wrote me this beautiful letter and of course if you want an actor's intense and you just right in the letter and tell and agree to pay. And you've got his on divided its anti aids can guarantee them careful it is it's like Kryptonite. You know start dragon on an actor in common rate the they'll do anything. And idea and I fell victim to that became an ya done you're the daughter back to. And and so league he he's Daniel Day-Lewis is this yeah they'll. Block on. A lot of after the but EE. Has really come in and he told me. He kind of told me this story the sort of long range plans for four watts and I don't think he wanted to scare me off they didn't. He didn't tell me the whole things but he told me enough the night. And I kind of felt like a while I'm in on the joke. And I like that and how he and and I also think that it's an interesting thing to have my fans with the expected. No one expects they woods is in and it's kind of a it's kind of like one of those things where I can get away with that these days where I've maybe couldn't. Before. You seemed to me is the first time we've met but I still think you can get away with a lot. And I think you had it would be my debt to. Well you did this I mean. You did either you did fortune and and Albania yet now you would see our friends would you even William Rhodes. We were very do we get things are not roommate that we were good friends and is south and was a fantastic. Person and very well read. He was it was a fantastic artist and we collaborated and and it was a very. And all of this is the right word fertile. Collaboration. And he was such a good Fran. He was a dear dear friend I loved environment. Was speaking of fertile though you have six children yes yes. How are you as a Bob. I'm pretty good idea yet just think of it this way you know like a batting average I can have two of them this stuff that Meehan any time. And I still bet ever fight about it. A great way to look at. He got a big need to simplify things make them. How how young is the youngest thirteen thirteen alt that's like and a statement best the last I hopes to be sorry guys the country. Here you. He's particularly through all else. Well you know it at what holiday is about that but you forget from puberty puberty out really horrible it is. You know from puberty through puberty. And the boys and girls do it differently Alder that the they do it differently. The girls mature quicker oh by the way it stays that way. They're far more richer that we are for the rest of our lives treatment of the use have been trained well I don't know I don't know I've observed the third. Okay that. But you have a daughter Dakota Johnson who's a movie stock. She's she's make it's is that all you are tremendous advice all you Madden. I am not sure that they less than the one hand. And and they they're better Tuesday when she does a movie what did you think. You know. We don't want assuming not the decision to grant I didn't see that yeah there are some images he just me. Well others don't bother me and but. Seen I knew her won't work anyway I could see. That she is gifted. And. Are uniquely gifted actors. And her her work since then has proven to peace. So you have prize. I have great. I'm so proud over I mean she's she's. She's taken the family business and she's put a smile an ounce and she's she's. She's doing the fan went proud of okay well you as a kid. A little bit if you would about how you grew up because he didn't come from wealth. Now like I came from a very poor working class family and you know we've we won't mind parents work very hard for for everything they got made. A there were four kids I was the oldest in the family and then they and he got divorced when I was twelve which is a a very difficult I'm very challenging time for me as a young man for any young man two had his parents. It particularly around that age because. Everything is changing you know eared. Here whole world is changing and now this is change inches so. That took some some some managing. But you know this thing that I can pass along from looking back is that. The east. Is the successes in that that that. That. Drive you towards ally. It's the struggles it's the stuff that you have to to manage and overcome and and and and and those things the difficulties that that. Freely and rich and fulfill your world and except when you're going through the difficulties he are not so great it's hard and keep in mind you know on the other side is I'm going to be really happy. Her. Well F. Scott Fitzgerald said work. We're all stronger in the broken place it's so true they set and that is true I believe that to be true. But when you started did you always have confidence that you make it. Did you have that were you here I it was not qualified for anything no black eyes at me you know I got thrown out schools so it was either make it or doc you know. And no pressure yet know it. And and I was lucky enough to be pretty very talented in and the most important thing is that I had incredible people around me. Who guided me in the right way in the beginning and so I learned how to do the job do my craft. The right way learn how to build characters from the from the inside out and learn how to Islam. To layer to layer in. Extra stuff to do rituals to add to the depth and airing of the characters. And so when you when you're trained when you're classically trained. You are fearless and of about anything when it comes of the work the business partners and different. Different deal it took it takes a little bit to understand how the games. And you a musician and missing in you know and I did hit songs you would Barbara did yeah till well I love you know. Yes you may do that night while Imus. I was honored it's not particularly my wasn't my kind of music but. But power ballad yeah Amman. And there's no pressure to be seen with Carr who Maloney has the best voice there Indiana yet on the planet yeah. Right and but cheaply as he had confidence in the that. Poland often I was too stupid thing I couldn't so. What they look great you got it right. I would isn't stupid to know that a that's sure bring an honorary. An analyst note done in terms yet which you flat rate. I'll who are out for it usually. With. I don't know I just think you you've seen a lot of this business. As you do not seem cynical about. It seems like he's still approach things as if there's a lot of fun and a lot of things that you could still learn from. A 100%. A 100%. ID you know I think it's a noble profession that when you when you get to be of service and really what we are is of certain. 22 others to uplift. To identify two. To share feelings and tell stories and and is the oldest trade in would be in the best in the world. In a sit around campfires and health stories with an older one but I don't wanna going well I yeah yeah. And that's. That but but it's there's something beautiful about that and there's something beautiful about about. About having that that. That relationship and honestly. I am. I am amazed. At how much more I confined and how much more there is for me to explore. And how much more. And how answers and I am in what's next. All right I have to ask the questions that come from the Internet a let's hear it's part of this careful of those who. GE U deal attorney says what character has satisfied you the most Don Johnson. Much characters. The most you don't live with the one that I had the most. An aunt had fund development. Eastbound and down. Hold its own good that character I played the eastbound and down with a that was a collapsed on me this evening he had Gary name with Eduardo Eduardo Sanchez of course it looked. Of course Tony Accardo. I. Art instead to let god be god. There's no annually. Thinks Hispanic. The case. You're God's job to give me some of that area by lies. If I am he had that is our. Our rise S says to code is so beautiful she is a sex symbol just like yeah. Are you happy she chose to follow in your puts them. I'm not sure this is an appropriate conversation for. For what through him again Ras Ras I'm tyra I can't dance and equipment at a for either I think he kind of answered and okay. So this is a good question to from Kyl are you going to bring back Miami Vice I've been hearing this all world. You know I've been hearing chatter about it since I don't usually hear in the costs they would have to come to you first went well at. Didn't think he had a company. It pretend that it. And Smith. Age is gonna follow like you say it. I don't know who would still others the clock and it's there where. There's some talk about doing. You know another arm of reboot of it in some fashion maybe isn't as a feature film with me involved in it and and or maybe as a as as as a bendable series or something like that but. I gotta tell yet. It feels like to me and I'm not a 100% sure about this because I I love challenges and this is it would be. There's there's some challenges with with remaking. Because it was a very specific time it was a very specific market feeling with free cellphones that was that was good for me. And it is so there are there are some there are some challenges to it. It can be done. But you have to answer those questions first up so it's just out there in the ether is out there and me in the you know about it there's there's there's talk about it and but we are gunman I am gonna TM a two hour movie of Nash Bridges. Okay and where that's definitely an am writing I am actually have the rough draft on my system right now just eminent. Century as well as soon as this interview is over you need to get rid busy. He cuts. Everybody wants to see that we all do we all want exam get in touch with the shows that we loved. And sometimes it works now at a course sometimes it doesn't but that's the tightrope you know have to like the challenged if there it is there's something interesting about seeing what happens in this whole world like 1516 years later went after years later. What happens. What happened to Nash Bridges when we last time. And I and play and it instead of recasting playing the character. She well now we want it to happen and a bit. People at the scene knives out for. Neither they are watching watchman all the time anyway but speaking of challenges we always and this isn't the first time he did not. You know. It's great I just want to hear all the time that's not accurately we I have many rats that's our own Beers what's. But this show always ends in a bit of song from guests and you you know. Your mr. Hart beat you does but. In watch. You do. It's not like you I love that it's an Oklahoma and you're watching the black. First I'm people's today that view active blame as it is guy. Why do I take that troubled 20 why do you take the trouble today my day agreed. God out of that's. Anyway that was great and it was vigorous and committed just U thank you wait for top. And I celebrate thank that we might later.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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