Don Johnson is back as “Nash Bridges”. Why?

“I still imagine him to be very fit and very capable,” Johnson said of Nash. “I imagine him wiser and more attentive to things.”

“He would always slap you,” he added, using a coarser term. “But he would think about it first and make sure it came from a good place.”

The decades since “Vice” made Johnson a star in 1984 have given him a lot of material. They were, in fact, the stuff of legend – not all of which are verifiable, and not all of which he remembers. He married Melanie Griffith (twice), set a world record in powerboat racing, and released two hit singles (one with his then girlfriend Barbra Streisand). There were struggles with drug addiction, stories of women’s underwear practically raining down from open windows. There was Miami in the 1980s.

Along the way, Johnson had five children, including a daughter, Dakota (from the “Fifty Shades” franchise), who herself is racking up A-List trivia these days. More recently he has experienced a kind of rebirth, transforming from a prominent man into a versatile actor, specializing in a sort of unreconstructed American man and flashing in films like “Machete” (2010) and “Django. Unchained ”(2012) and in TV shows like“ Eastbound & Down ”(2009-13).

When Johnson first took on the role of Nash Bridges, he was looking for a change. Despite the structural similarities of “Bridges” and “Vice”, its two main characters were very different. While Sonny leaned toward the tormented and austere, Nash was upbeat and funny, quick with a catchy line. Johnson enjoyed the break.

“I had just done a stint on ‘Miami Vice’ for five years, and the show and the character got darker and darker,” he said. “After a while it was like, how can we make Sonny dark and sorry and hopeless?” And I said, ‘I won’t do it again.’ “

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