Miami Vice was the ultimate 80s television crime drama series, it also had the best music and visual effects of its time. It also had some some seriously intense and cool gun battles. Which is exactly why we dug up 20 secrets that producers tried to keep hidden all these years, take a look.
Remember Philip Michael Thomas’s necklace? Well a lot of fans thought it was good luck cause he got an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Although the actor said it stood for Energy, Growth, Opportunity, and Talent. I would have rather preferred a diamond tennis bracelet then just some necklace but to each their own.
Oh yeah, superstar Ed O’Neill (otherwise known as Al Bundy) appeared on the show as Arthur Lawson, an undercover FBI agent, whose cover name was Artie Rollins.
Almost Missed Out
Did you know that Don Johnson had been on four failed pilots? The production crew was close to letting Don Johnson go. Talk about a game changer.
Tubbs said in an interview that, “I liked that Don was getting the publicity. I wanted the mystique. The bigger he got, the bigger we got.” Turned out though that Tubbs and Crockett weren’t close off screen.
Miami Vice was actually one of the most expensive shows in the ’80s. The creators wanted everything to be authentic (admirable) so they even filmed in Miami and had music licensing rights. They paid a whopping $1.3 million per episode for that authenticity. With that money, the show could have done a bit of gold investment but instead they just created a legendary show.
Could you imagine if Denzel Washington played the role of Sonny Crockett? Well turns out he was actually considered before Philip Michael Thomas got the role. *Sigh*, what could have been.
When you think Sonny Crockett, you think great style and awesome Ferrari. However that Ferrari Daytona of his was actually a custom-built Corvette!
During the first season, Edward James Olmos and Don Johnson got into some fights on set as they had different acting styles so ego and tension ran high. Actually, their difference in acting styles brought out some serious tension on set.
Five O’clock Shadow
Don Johnson was allowed to keep his stubble for one reason, “the stubble was born out of the character because it was intimated that he had been up partying with drug dealers for two or three days at a time. That was sort of an unspoken thing, which is why he was always unshaven and looked like he slept in his clothes.”
Did you know that both Jeff Bridges and Nick Nolte decided to turn down the role of Sonny Crockett, as they both wanted to focus on their own films at the time. Also, Gary Cole tried out for the role of Sonny Crocket.
We have seen Crockett on his houseboat numerous times on the show but don’t you think its strange not once did we see where Tubbs lived? In all five seasons, it didn’t come up once.
How About A Deal?
After just the first season, Don Johnson didn’t sign a contract and he didn’t come to filming. He had enough? However, the company and he came to an agreement and Johnson became one of the highest paid actors of the 80s. You think he spent those millions investing in gold or fancy cars?
Just A Guest
Turns out that Ben Stiller started his acting career on the show! He portrayed con man, Fast Eddie Felcher. We all gotta start somewhere.
Turns out that apparently Brandon Tartikoff scribbled down “MTV Cops” on a napkin and that’s how the name of the show came to life. Interesting!
Trudy had a bit of a nickname on set, it was, get this, ‘Big Booty Trudy.’ I don’t know if that’s insulting or a compliment?
This one is hilarious, turns out that the actor Larry Wilcox from “CHiPs” was in the running for the role of Sonny Crockett before Don Johnson was officially chosen for the role.
Ray Ban sunglasses are the ultimate accessory nowadays but in the 80s they almost went bankrupt if it hadn’t been for the show. After millions of people watched Don Johnson’s character wear the hip sunglasses week in, week out, Ray Ban saw their sales shoot up to 1.5 million by 1986. Not bad.
Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas wanted to learn more about the characters they were going to play so they actually went out with the real Miami Vice Unit. In the photo below, you’ll see them pictured with the real police chief.
For whatever reason, the network actually did not want Don Johnson to play the role of Sonny Crockett. Johnson said in an interview with Rolling Stone, “I had made five pilots for Brandon Tartikoff back then, and none of them were picked up.”
Even though Crockett’s wardrobe was relolutionary, turns out the Johnson didn’t like it. He wanted Crockett to have more of a cowboy style, I mean, could you image? However, luckily, the producers and costume designers put a quick end to that nonsense.
That’s More Like It
When the real Ferrari company found out, needless to say, they were not happy at all. They actually filed a lawsuit against the show’s creators. Ferrari agreed then to supply the show with two brand new, real Ferraris, while the fake car was destroyed.
Sonny Crockett has a history of serving in the army but so does the actor in real life. However, Don Johnson was actually denied service because he has a prior criminal record.
That style of a t-shirt and an Armani jacket was pure class, Crockett’s look was legendary. His character’s style great influenced the fashion industry in the 80s.