As the bloodthirsty mobster Ben “The Butcher” Diamond on Starz’s Magic City, Danny Huston is one of the show’s most mesmerizing villains. “He’s a badass, he knows that and he runs with it,” says the actor of his character. “That makes him kind of honest, you know?” The series about Miami gangsters in the late ’50s returns to TV screens with a much-anticipated second season on June 14, and Huston’s lethal alter ego is very much front and center of all the action.
So, what should viewers expect from season two of Magic City? Let’s just say fans should get ready. We seriously dive into [my character] Ben Diamond’s psychosis and the story becomes much darker. I would be reading the script and have to pick up my jaw from the floor. Some of it is truly shocking.
The show’s creator, Mitch Glazer, is a hometown hero. What is it like to work for him? He’s so wise and has such a gentle soul, so I’m shocked that this material comes out of someone who’s so sweet. I can’t believe it.
How do you like living in Miami for part of the year? It’s almost like you’re on holiday. There’s just something about being able to swim in the ocean day or night that changes a person. And the food! The Cuban food! I love the fried, what are those? Bananas? Plantains? And whenever I need a little pick-me-up I take down a Cuban coffee. It always does the trick.
You’ve been romantically linked to your co-star Olga Kurylenko. Is working with her awkward in any way? We very rarely have a scene together and if we do, it’s because we just happen to be in the same room. We are together when we want to be together and we’ve had two magical years in Miami. In a way, this place is like our Venice.
Your father is the late director John Huston. Your sister is Anjelica Huston. That’s quite a lineage. Did you always want to be an actor? I resisted Hollywood for as long as I could. I wanted to be an artist, but after I went to art school and started the life of drinking warm white wine at gallery openings, I saw there was as much bullshit in that world as there is in the film business, so I started working with my father and directing, and I was hooked. I never planned to act. I just wanted to direct. But while waiting so long for projects to come my way, fellow directors would invite me to act out of the kindness of their hearts. Now, here I am.
What does a family like yours talk about at the dinner table? We just love hanging out with one another and we certainly have good gossip. My love of storytelling comes from my childhood in Ireland, sitting around with people like Arthur Miller and Robert Mitchum and listening to their anecdotes. That’s what good film and TV is all about: the ability to tell a great story.