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The thing is that my idols have always been the types of guys who could do anything: Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Sinatra, Dean Martin; and when you look up to people like that, you don't accept that you need to be compartmentalised.
My dad was kind of a pool shark and had a Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin thing going on. I've always been fascinated by the fifties because of him. There was a hip, cool, anything-goes atmosphere back then, but looking good was still a priority.
My memories of Las Vegas were all with my father when I was, like, a teenager. He was best friends with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and we'd come up and see the shows and go backstage afterwards and have dinner together. It was one of my first educations about stars and how they really are back stage.
A man should be rugged like Steve McQueen; the way he stands, like he's ready for something. Or he should be a man of the world like Dean Martin.
I don't really write with living actors in mind. I guess I write for dead actors. I'll think of like, you know, Burt Lancaster would be good in this part, and so on. With 'L.A. Confidential,' it was like, 'Wouldn't it be cool if Dean Martin played the Kevin Spacey part?'