Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch on Magic City‘s Second Season

1003_mockup.gifIt’s been a sizzling spring season at Michael’s with plenty of celebs (Isabella Rossellini, Naomi Campbell and Tony Goldwyn to name a few) breaking bread with us over lunch, but today’s dine and dish session was one for the books. Joining me for an exclusive chat were screenwriter/director Mitch Glazer and actress (Drugstore Cowboy, The L Word) Kelly Lynch, in town from Los Angeles to promote the second season of  Magic City, the STARZ hit series which Mitch created and Kelly co-stars in as the cool, aristocratic Meg Bannock. Fresh off ringing the NASDAQ bell and an earlier red carpet appearance at a swanky fashion show in Times Square featuring looks curated by Magic City costume designer Carol Ramsey, the Hollywood power couple arrived shortly before noon (extra points for being early!) and were game for talking about pretty much anything.

Together 23 years and married for 20 which, in Tinseltown time is the equivalent of forever (“I was getting cranky waiting for him to ask me,” says Kelly), Mitch and Kelly have seemingly found the perfect project in which to work together in Magic City. Born and raised in Miami Beach, Mitch, who once toiled as a writer for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, tells me that the series is the most personal of projects as it allows him to recreate the Miami of his childhood by shooting on location and constructing a massive sound stage populated with full scale models of the iconic hotels (not to mention all those great cars) of this bygone era. “Sometimes I look around and think, ‘This is like a Twlight Zone episode,'” he told me.

Kelly Lynch, Diane Clehane and Mitch Glazer
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Before he began shooting the very first episode and after the final touches were put in place on Miramar Playa Hotel, the property owned by the show’s brooding, sexy Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Mitch brought his 91-year-old father, Leonard Glazer, who worked as an electrical engineer on the strip during the fifties, to the set. Mitch found the very same chandelier his father had installed all those years ago at The Eden Roc in a box at a Miami salvage store and gave it its rightful place of honor in the lobby of the fictional Miramar Playa. “My father took one look and said, ‘You built a hotel!” recalled Mitch, smiling at the memory. “There are so few things in life that you know better than anyone else,” he told me. “This world happens to be that for me, so I was very fortunate and it gave me a lot of confidence.”

In depicting the “glamorous, adult” world that was Miami Beach, 1959 Mitch works painstakingly with his production designer and set decorator to recreate every detail down to the newspapers the characters read. “(STARZ CEO) Chris Albrecht likes to joke that this is the most expensive home movie ever made,” said Mitch,  who explained that the powers that be did their due diligence in searching for the best (read: most financially sound) location to shoot the series and, in the end, agreed to shoot in Miami. “Many of the actors had never been to Miami before shooting the show, and that first night when you’re there, and you smell the ocean and the jasmine, it just puts you in that place, the very sexy, glamorous state of mind.” Which, we’re guessing, went a long way during the five-month shooting schedule.

For her part as an actress, Kelly told me it’s the gorgeous vintage costumes that also go a long way in helping to create the show’s characters. “It’s like a fabulous game of ‘let’s pretend,’ and, at the same time, it makes it more real.” Kelly describes Meg’s style as a tasteful, luxurious mix of  looks inspired by socialite Millicent Rogers and heiress Doris Duke, as well as those of iconic blondes Grace Kelly and Babe Paley, whose styles remain indelible to fashionistas of today. And Kelly knows her fashion —  trust me. Unlike most actresses willing to parade around in whatever their stylist tells them to wear, Kelly comes to her fashion cred authentically. When I complimented her on her stunning white knitted sheath and inquired if it was a Azzedine Alaia, she said, “That’s funny because I modeled in his first fashion show.” Her dress, incidentally, was by the more affordable designer collection, Theory. Kelly admits she’s taken plenty of her fashion cues from her 27-year-old daughter, Shane Lynch, who introduced her to the Zaras and H&M’s of the world. “Anyone can look great in a $10,000 dress but that seems like you’re cheating,” she told me. “I think looking great doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.” Lynch, a former dancer who once dreamed of being an architect, admits it’s “a lot of work” keeping up appearances as an actress over the age of 18. Not that she has to, but Lynch hedges her bets by eating well (she’s a vegetarian and had the burrata with a side of spinach today). “Fashion is not for sissies,” she said. For the record, Mitch is no slouch in the style department, either, as evidenced by his impeccably tailored Paul Stuart suit.)