The five things I Learned About Burn Notice On My Visit To The Set
Here are the five things I learned about Burn Notice on my visit to the set:
1. You cannot work on this show unless you’re funny. Creator Matt Nix had us laughing the whole time we ate dinner with him at The Chart House in Miami. Every single person we talked to throughout the day on Friday (from the actors on the show [more on them later], to the set designers, prop master, location scouts, etc.) had something hilarious to tell us. It was so lighthearted and everyone genuinely loves their show, so they’re all happy to be talking about! A few funny things I learned – Jeffrey Donovan doesn’t sweat; Don Johnson cannot sing; they steal all the cars that they use on the show (that one is a lie), OJ Simpson led to the end of television for one of the executive producers until Burn Notice came around, and the set designers and location scouts spend 12 hours a day together, in a van.
2. Burn Notice is single-handedly rebuilding the Miami film-scene. Before Burn Notice, the only show in recent years to actually set up shop and film in the city itself was the J-Lo produced travesty South Beach on UPN. CSI: Miami and Dexter shot their pilots there, but then headed back to LA. The last show to film consistently in Miami was a little show called Miami Vice back in the day. Jeff Freilich, executive producer of the show, tells us that he’s most proud of the fact that they turned a convention center that was going to be demolished into their own little Miami. Madeline’s house and Michael’s loft, and everything in between. Also, Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston just shot Marley and Me on Burn Notice’s soundstage.
3. The series’ four stars are some of the most amazingly likeable people I have ever met. Having met Gabrielle Anwar before, I knew what to expect going into our chat with her, and she was everything I expected and then some. Gorgeous and so youthful in person, hilarious, self-deprecating, charming. You name the positive descriptive term and she embodies it. Bruce Campbell, who arrived on his bike, is just ridiculously awesome in person. For those interested, he’s quite attractive in real life, too. He had great stories to tell about his cast members, and he spoke for a while about Army of Darkness, and Briscoe County, Jr. TV legend Sharon Gless was fabulous! She is unwilling to consider herself a legend. She’s sweet, loving, and emotional. She’s so fond of her TV son. And Jeffrey Donovan. Where do I start with Jeffrey Donovan? He is this smart, brilliant, gorgeous man who eats artichokes and is incredibly humble. This show is all about Jeffrey’s character Michael, but he gladly accepts that the show couldn’t be done without the cast and crew!
4. The sets of the show are fantastic and just as awesome in person as they appear on screen. Madeline’s home (in the pilot, it’s a real home in Coral Gables), where we set up shop for the day on the soundstage, is kitschy and so 70s and so much thought went into the decoration. Michael’s loft set is insane (and in the pilot, it was also a real artist’s loft). The oldest appliances possible, including a terrible fridge, and a hot plate because the stove looks unusable. Totally typical Michael – it’s like a prison for this man stuck in one of the most beautiful places in the US. Everything, down to the cars, was interesting to behold.
5. Burn Notice is going to be even better this season than it was last season. We got to see a scene from the season premiere that featured a lot of action, a lot of humor, and just everything we love about the show. Tricia Helfer (Six from BSG) shows up as Carla, who may or may not be the new big bad that Michael needs to “defeat” so to speak. She has plans for Michael, and we’ll get to see how that plays out as she’s in a majority of the episodes, in some way shape or form – on screen, phone calls, etc. Robin Givens also shows up in the episode we got to witness them filming.