This was our very first day of shooting. Josh Brolin plays John O-Mara, a hard-nosed cop headed into the hornet's nest—mob boss Mickey Cohen's HQ. He's trapped in an elevator with two thugs, but he fights his way out.
A police chase ends with a crash through a skylight and directly into this studio during a pinup shoot with Bettie Page (played by Nancy McCrumb).
In this scene, Ryan Gosling's character, Jerry Wooters (a cop), introduces himself to Grace Faraday, played by Emma Stone. Obviously they have great chemistry.
Me and Nick Notle, who plays the police cheif, Bill Parker. In the script, he's likened to Richard the Lionheart. Only Nolte could pull that off.
One of my favorite locations: Clifton's, a real restaurant that's been in Los Angeles since the thirties. A time warp.
It was hard to re-create vintage LA—there are so many tall buildings now. We had to go to the outer reaches of the city, to neighborhoods like Sylmar.
A turning point for Gosling's character: A little kid gets killed by Cohen's assassins ina shoot-out. This is when he decides to get on board—as it says in the script, "the long-sleeping cop comes to life."
The full squad: Brolin, Robert Patrick, Anthony Mackie, Michael Pena, Gosling and Giovanni Ribisi. Six amazing actors—and some of the funniest dudes ever assembled.