Dennis Farina is a class act. He also has a wicked sense of humor, which explains why he is does comedy so well. Before becoming an actor, he served for many years on the Chicago police force, a background that can’t help but keep the glitter of Tinseltown in perspective. I spoke with Farina on his birthday, February 29, 2002. The conversation ranged from his latest film, BIG TROUBLE, to what it was like to be on the blue line containing the protesters at the 1968 Democratic Convention.
Barry Sonnenfeld returns to Miami, scene of his wildly funny GET SHORTY, and the deliciously quirky characters who live there, characters rendered all the more endearing because they just don’t know that, like Miami, they inhabit a reality that isn’t shared with the rest of America, or even the world. Instead of Elmore Leonard, though, Sonnenfeld here takes on Dave Barry. Sonnenfeld’s stock company are here, with Farina as a hit man who still has time for etiquette and Rene Russo as a gold-digger with second thoughts. Farina does the suave menace thing like the rest of us draw breath and knows how to spin it for laughs. As for Russo, she gamely dons citrus-colored clothes and hot pink lipstick all the while shows us how good 40+ can look.