When Chris Messina was casting his feature film directorial debut Alex of Venice, he only had one person in mind to play the stoner grandfather—Don Johnson.
"I went up north where he lives and he took me to his son's basketball game," Messina tells me. "And I pretended I cared, I'd watch the game and I'd be like, 'He's really good. Now, do you want to the movie?'
It took some more convincing. "He kind of hemmed and hawed, understandably [with] a first time director," Messina said. "His agents were probably like, 'It's the guy from The Mindy Project' and he was probably like, 'What's The Mindy Project?'"
Fortunately, the Miami Vice icon eventually signed on. In the film he plays an aging actor whose daughter (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) finds her life spiraling out of control when upside down when her husband (Messina) suddenly walks out on her and their young son.