He’s best known for playing TV police detectives in Miami Vice and Nash Bridges, but Don Johnson has told Sky News it’s not just on screen that he’s good at solving problems.
The actor, who stars in new whodunnit Knives Out, says he could not do his job without using some investigative skills.
“Actors by definition are detectives,” he said, “because when you get a character you go on a search, because sometimes you don’t get a lot of description.
“You get some vague background stuff about the characters, so you have to fill it in and that takes a little bit of detective work.”
Johnson says there is a lot he considers when rounding out a character.
“I use all kinds of techniques to find out more. What is the emotional make-up of this character? What was it like when he was a child? How did he get to be that way?
“Does he have childhood trauma like most of us do? What was the childhood trauma? How would he react to it? And how does it relate to this situation?
“It’s not an uncomplicated process.”
Knives Out is director and writer Rian Johnson’s first film since Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and is the culmination of 20 years of work for the film-maker.
The movie features a huge and starry ensemble cast, including Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans and Toni Collette.
It came together quickly as it had to be made during a break in Craig’s filming for James Bond, and Johnson says he was delighted he could be involved.
“I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I mean, a beautifully written script with arguably the top one or two directors in the world right now – screenwriter and director in the world right now.
“And then the opportunity to play this character, I mean, goodness.”
The cast have all talked in interviews about the fun they had while on the set of the murder mystery.
I asked Johnson if with so many big names there was a risk of egos getting in the way.
“Professionals who are not insecure about how they do their work… are confident in their abilities,” he said.
“They generally have learned that ego is not their friend, and so everyone generally shows up for the joy of actually doing the work and to work with these other people, and that was the experience here.”
The 69-year-old said the cast “had a blast” while shooting.
“Between shots we would all get together down in the room… that we affectionately called the green room, and we would congregate down there and talk about our films and experiences and relationships,” he said.
“And a lie or two might have been told, a lot of jokes and just funny, funny stuff.”
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While Johnson admitted there were many conversations he couldn’t share with me, he did give me an idea of what the stars chatted about.
“We’ll talk about philosophy and children and our experiences in childhood and so on and so forth.
“We make each other laugh like crazy by being so painfully honest.”
“Some things that you go, whoa! Maybe I didn’t need to know that.”
Knives Out is out in cinemas in the UK on 27 November