Hi and welcome to our special Hollywood Homicide (German title:
Hollywood Cops) report. Here you'll find everything about the
new Harrison Ford / Josh Hartnett movie.
In Hollywood, when you're number one with a bullet, they
call in the cops.
Revolution Studios presents Hollywood Homicide, a fast paced
action comedy directed by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White
Men Can't Jump), starring Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett.
Harrison Ford portrays veteran detective Joe Gavilan, a weary
but tenacious police veteran at the top of his game professionally,
though his personal life is rapidly unraveling. His partner,
K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett), seems to be more interested in
his side jobs as a yoga teacher and aspiring actor than in
the high-profile gangland-style murder they are currently
Welcome to the land of blue skies, palm trees and dead bodies.
Revolution Studios Presents A Pitt/Shelton Production Hollywood
Homicide starring Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett, a Columbia
Pictures release. The film also stars Lena Olin, Bruce Greenwood,
Isaiah Washington, Lolita Davidovich, Keith David, Master
P and Lou Diamond Phillips with Dwight Yoakam and Martin Landau.
Hollywood Homicide is directed by Ron Shelton and written
by Robert Souza & Ron Shelton. Lou Pitt and Shelton are
the producers. Joe Roth and David Lester serve as executive
producers. Barry Peterson is the director of photography.
Jim Bissell is the production designer. The film is edited
by Paul Seydor, A.C.E. Bernie Pollack is the costume designer.
The music is by Alex Wurman. The music supervision is by Dawn
Solér and Kathy Nelson.
Behind the Scenes
Hollywood Homicide is a fast paced action comedy that provides
a rare inside look at the professional and personal lives
of two Los Angeles Police Department officers. Harrison Ford
stars as Joe Gavilan, a hard-nosed veteran. He is paired with
one of today's fastest rising young talents, Josh Hartnett,
as his reluctant partner K.C. Calden, who is more interested
in teaching yoga and pursuing an acting career than he is
in detective work.
Director, co-writer and producer Ron Shelton explores the
practice of law enforcement in the glamour capital, scraping
away the glitz to reveal what's underneath.
"There is an absurdity to L.A. that I find attractive,"
says Shelton. "Los Angeles isn't really a city in the
normal sense, and movies aren't really made in Hollywood.
That is, if you can even find Hollywood."
The other milieu Shelton explores is the driving and sometimes
chaotic world of the recording industry, in particular the
hip-hop music scene, where the killing of a fictitious rap
music group seems culled from today's headlines.
After hearing veteran homicide investigator Robert Souza's
stories of his colorful career at the Hollywood division of
the LAPD, Hollywood Homicide producer Lou Pitt was intrigued
by the private side of a policeman's life, an environment
movies rarely explore. "It was the personal stuff they
have to deal with while they're trying to solve crimes that
I found really compelling," says Pitt. "I wanted
to know more about who these guys are and to make a film that
showed their personal lives in a way we've never seen before.
Like too many of us, they have to find a way to juggle the
demands of their work and their lives."
Souza says he was influenced by another ex-LAPD policeman
turned author, Joseph Wambaugh (The Onion Field, The New Centurions),
who also combined his professional exploits as a detective
with compelling personal stories. Like the central characters
in Hollywood Homicide, Souza regularly had side jobs while
he was serving with the LAPD. Where did he find the time?
"When you're on an intense case, you rack up tremendous
overtime, so you end up with a lot of time off and that creates
opportunities for other activities," Souza explains.
"Throughout my career, I worked at everything from real
estate to private security to repossessing cars. And I worked
with guys who were cabinet makers, certified public accountants
and tennis pros."
The discussions between Souza and Pitt prompted Pitt to recall
the time he came into contact with a police officer, who was
also pursuing another vocation. "Once my home was burglarized
and when the police investigator learned I was in the movie
business, he wanted to know if I was an agent. I told him
I was. He excused himself, went to his car and pulled a script
out of the trunk of his car and asked me to read it. He said
if I didn't like this draft he had several other versions,"
It's a much more common experience than most people realize,
according to Souza, especially for cops on the beat in Hollywood.
"I once had a partner who wanted to be an actor. He carried
8 x 10 glossy head shots around with him to hand out to entertainment
industry people with whom he came into contact."
Another aspect of Souza's experience that intrigued Pitt
was his occasional clashes with the LAPD's Internal Affairs
Division, an element that became a major plot thread in the
screenplay Souza and Shelton eventually wrote. "Bob headed
a lot of high profile cases, and during his investigations,
Internal Affairs was constantly looking over his shoulder,"
"I've had a controversial career, so I was ducking internal
affairs on several occasions," Souza confesses. "It
was never anything illegal, just simply things that didn't
always conform precisely to department policy."
Pitt introduced Souza to Shelton, who was also taken by the
former policeman's stories, so much so he hired Souza as a
technical consultant on Dark Blue, a gritty take on the LAPD
based on a James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential) story. It was
during production on Dark Blue that Shelton and Souza began
to discuss Hollywood Homicide.
In his interactions with Souza and other retired detectives,
Shelton learned "that there's a whole comic side to the
very serious jobs these people do. The genesis of Hollywood
Homicide was born out of anecdotes from men and women who
had spent their lives solving crimes in a land they described
in shorthand as 'blue skies, palm trees and dead bodies.'
"Many of the most absurd situations in the film actually
come from their real experiences," Shelton avers.
After production wrapped on Dark Blue, Shelton and Souza
began concentrating on Hollywood Homicide. "We actually
wrote it together, though not in the same room," says
Souza. "Sometimes we were hundreds of miles apart, using
faxes, e-mails and cell phones. Still, it was a total collaboration.
Ron brought his magical touch to the story and the actors
have helped us make it even richer."
Shelton and Pitt took their idea to Joe Roth, founder of
Revolution Studios and executive producer of Hollywood Homicide.
""Ron has an uncanny ability to make ordinary characters
in everyday situations both memorable and relatable. Here
was a story that was funny and dramatic, with tragic moments
and tons of action. It was a very satisfying mixture of genres,"
says Roth, who had first worked with Shelton on White Men
Can't Jump. "I immediately suggested Harrison Ford for
the role of Joe as well as Josh Hartnett, who had just done
Black Hawk Down for us, for the part of K.C. Calden."
"Joe's instinct to the casting of the principle talent
was right on the money," says Pitt, "because it
gave us an added dimension and the ability to appeal to the
multigenerational design of the film and of the audience."
Ford was immediately intrigued by Shelton and Souza's offbeat
tale. "Hollywood Homicide is the kind of story I'm always
looking for but rarely find - a great blend of reality, action
and humor. The film interweaves several thematic elements,
bringing different threads together. The relationships between
the characters have pop and sizzle to them."
As played by Ford, Joe Gavilan is complex and multi-faceted,
courageous, yet vulnerable, flexible at times, hard headed
at others, very capable, but sometimes overwhelmed. Ford approached
him as a "man who's better at work than he is at life.
He's living on the edge, drinking a bit too much, staying
up too late and in pretty desperate circumstances. He's got
several hundred dollars worth of dry cleaning in hock. And
to top it off, he's being investigated by his own department
at the same time as he's on a major homicide investigation."
The character of K.C. Calden is Gavilan's worst nightmare,
a young detective who seems to be interested in everything
but police work. Hartnett saw K.C. as an opportunity to create
a fully rounded, reality-based character. While working as
a cop, Calden busily pursues such avocations as teaching yoga
and acting - though he keeps those sidelines secret. "Joe
has no idea about K.C.'s alter ego as a yoga instructor,"
says Hartnett. "That part of him is really relaxed and
cool, spiritual, though the women in his class often get in
the way of his spiritual path."
As Shelton explained to his two leads, one of his intentions
in Hollywood Homicide was to revisit the buddy/cop movie,
"to serve the genre and, at the same time, bring something
different to the dance. Joe and K.C. are both detectives,
but they have completely different priorities. So you've got
these multiple agendas going on while a major crime is being
investigated and there's always some other distraction going
on in the background. There's a madness, a sublime madness
as the case and their lives start to spin out of control."
To prepare for their roles, Ford and Hartnett visited the
Los Angeles Police Academy firing range and observed the inner
workings of LAPD's Hollywood division headquarters. On set,
they barraged Souza and the other police consultants with
questions about procedure as well as more personal questions
regarding the balance between pursuing criminals and maintaining
a life that is separate from their work.
The generational and attitudinal differences between Gavilan
and Calden are the focus of a great deal of comic friction
in the film. "Our two characters don't really understand
each other," says Hartnett, "and that's the source
of a great deal of the humor."
Though Souza says that while there are elements of his personality
in both the older and younger detective, Gavilan and Calden's
stormy working relationship was definitely informed by his
personal experiences. "When I was a young detective,
I sometimes was impatient with older, less motivated detectives,"
he confesses. "Years later, as a senior investigator,
I was sometimes put off by the younger, more impulsive guys.
And I admit I wasn't always as patient with them as I could
Beyond the selection of the film's two leading men, Shelton
was careful to cast the other roles with an eye toward accurately
capturing the variety and vibrancy of the L.A. experience.
"One of the aspects I find fascinating about Los Angeles
is its incredible mix of societies, cultures, values, races,
nationalities, neighborhoods, dreams and schemes," says
Shelton. "Somehow they manage to co-exist, sometimes
harmoniously, sometimes not. The city's diversity is one of
L.A.'s greatest strengths."
Shelton approached actress Lena Olin to portray Ruby, the
successful, sexy radio psychic who gives personal and professional
comfort to Ford's character. An Oscar® nominated actress,
who currently appears on the popular "Alias" television
series, Olin prepared for the offbeat role by "catching
all the radio psychics and even talk show hosts - everyone
from the pet psychic to Dr. Phil - just to get a feel for
how they talk and address issues."
Bruce Greenwood, who convincingly portrayed President John
F. Kennedy in the Cold War era drama Thirteen Days, portrays
Bennie Macko, the head of Internal Affairs. He signed on because
"The chance to work with good material and a strong cast
under a talented director doesn't come along as often as you
might think, and this project had all these ingredients,"
says Greenwood. "I've wanted to work with Harrison and
Ron for a long time and to have the opportunity all at once
was a real treat, I enjoyed every minute of it and I'd gladly
go back for more."
Hollywood Homicide takes the audience behind the scenes in
the music industry and one of its principal players is record
company executive Antoine Sartain, played by actor Isaiah
Washington, who describes his character as "dynamic,
complicated, emotional, flawed and sometimes brilliant."
Though his character could have been reduced to the standard
bad guy, thanks to the film's precise writing and direction,
Washington says he was able "to hit beats that haven't
been seen before. Sartain is a man who pokes fun at himself,
even when he's under extreme duress. At the same time, his
version of tough love can be murder."
There's a reason why the villain is sometimes the most fascinating
character in a film and for Washington it all comes down to
the character's humanity. "Sartain's like J.R. Ewing
on "Dallas," in that he really believes everything
he does is right. That makes him both more human and more
The depth and detail that Shelton and Souza brought to even
the secondary characters in Hollywood Homicide is what drew
country singer turned actor Dwight Yoakam to the project.
Yoakam portrays Leroy Wasley, an ex-cop who works for Sartain.
"The comedy in the film is sometimes crazy and ridiculous,
but it always comes from a real place," says Yoakam.
Lolita Davidovich was cast in the film's other key female
role, Cleo. The actress, who has had starring roles in four
previous Ron Shelton films, including her breakthrough performance
in Blaze, describes Cleo as "a modern-day madam in Los
Angeles, a city in which some consider it a worthy profession.
She is in a rather desperate bind and needs Gavilan's help.
And he needs hers. They are a match, similar in many ways,
both strong, intelligent and possessing great survival instincts."
Oscar® winner Martin Landau plays the faded movie producer
Jerry Duran, whose magnificent mansion may help Gavilan get
out of his financial bind - if he can secure it as a real
estate listing. The Hollywood veteran says he drew upon many
real life producers in shaping his portrayal. "Duran's
an extravagant Hollywood producer who has fallen on hard times,"
explains Landau. "His day has passed, but he still has
attitude. I've been in Hollywood a long time, so I had countless
role models for inspiration."
Among Ford and Hartnett's police cronies is Lou Diamond Phillips
(Courage Under Fire). When Shelton asked to meet with the
actor about playing a vice squad officer, he told him "there's
just one little catch," Phillips recalls. "Could
you please show up in a skirt, hose and heels, wig and makeup?
The character's called Wanda." With the help of his wife,
a makeup artist, Phillips was transformed, and drove to the
audition in drag, "praying all the way that my car didn't
break down on the freeway," he laughs, "though I
did look pretty good if I do say so myself."
Since the world of popular music is a vital element in Hollywood
Homicide, director Shelton instructed casting director Ed
Johnston to scope the rock and hip-hop world for performers
capable of handling straight acting roles. R&B legend
Gladys Knight flew in from Las Vegas to audition for the role
of Olivia Robidoux, the mother of K-RO (KURUPT) a young rap-song
writer who is the only witness to the murders Gavilan and
Calden are investigating. She says she was unsure whether
she had a shot at the part, until Shelton said to her, "You're
Gladys Knight! I should be auditioning for you!" After
her reading, he hired her on the spot.
KURUPT, aka Ricardo Brown, had previously worked with Shelton
on Dark Blue. "I do a lot of running in this one,"
says the popular rapper. "K-RO's got the killers and
the cops chasing him. Worst part for me was being chased through
the Venice canals. Other than a bath, I'm not a big fan of
water. I don't even like standing in the rain," says
KURUPT, who did many of his own stunts for the film.
Another vital role was filled by "Master P." The
highly regarded rapper and entrepreneur was cast as Julius
Armas, owner of the club where the big murder takes place.
Master P, who also appeared in Dark Blue, says, "Julius
is just another person to be interrogated until Gavilan learns
I've got lots of extra cash and am in the market to buy a
big mansion. Then I get some respect."
Motown great Smokey Robinson, makes his acting debut as a
cabbie whose vehicle is commandeered by Gavilan in the film's
climactic chase up Hollywood Boulevard. Frank Sinatra, Jr.
who has only acted in one other film during his career, was
cast as attorney Marty Wheeler, who simultaneously represents
both buyer and seller in the biggest real estate prospect
of Gavilan's part-time career. As Landau points out, this
scenario is not that far-fetched in Hollywood. "It really
happens in the movie business. The producer and the actor
he's negotiating to hire can be represented by the same lawyer.
I've never understood it, but I've seen it many times."
Other roles were filled by Andre Benjamin, aka Dre, of the
innovative music group Outkast, and renowned rap music producer
Kevin Law. The 504 Boyz, a rising rap group from Louisiana,
play the musicians who are killed at the outset of the movie.
The group is comprised of Aywood Johnson (Magic), Jason Thibeau
(T-Bo), Michael Wilson (Krazy), and Darwin Turner (Choppa).
Shelton also managed to entice Hollywood veteran star Robert
Wagner and former Monty Python founding member Eric Idle to
make cameo appearances. Several of the usual suspects from
Shelton's unofficial repertory company also make appearances,
including Jamison Jones, Gregg Daniel, Eloy Casados, Dennis
Burkley, Tom Todoroff, Will Utay, Darrell Foster and Fred
Cast & Crew
Executive Produced by:
with Dwight Yoakam
and Martin Landau
Harrison Ford in Berlin
|While promoting Hollywood
Homicide Harrison Ford was in Berlin. In a three days interview
marathon Ford answered hundreds of questions and gave dozens
10 - 07 - 2003
13 - 07 - 2003
26 - 07 - 2003
13 - 08 - 2003
15 - 08 - 2003
16 - 08 - 2003
29 - 08 - 2003
29 - 08 - 2003
04 - 09 - 2003
04 - 09 - 2003
04 - 09 - 2003
05 - 09 - 2003
11 - 09 - 2003
12 - 09 - 2003
12 - 09 - 2003
17 - 09 - 2003
25 - 09 - 2003
26 - 09 - 2003
01 - 10 - 2003
03 - 10 - 2003
22 - 10 - 2003
31 - 10 - 2003
27 - 11 - 2003
19 - 11 - 2003
$11,112,632 (USA 2,840 Screens)