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About Season two

The Bonfire of the Vanities was one of the best-selling novels of the 1980s and had all the makings for a hit motion picture: a dark comedy with heart and bite, an A-list director and a star-studded cast.  So what went wrong?  Come with us onto the closed set and hear actual recordings of Brian De Palma, Tom Hanks, Melanie Griffith and others, as they chased the ultimate reward, the fabled Hollywood blockbuster. This was The Devil’s Candy, the promise of riches and fame, accolades and Oscars – a prize so irresistible that they ignored the mounting troubles.

The Players

Julie Salamon

Film critic and author of The Devil’s Candy, Julie got the once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness how a movie is made from start to finish.

Ben Mankiewicz

Host of The Plot Thickens and Turner Classic Movies, Ben is a journalist, movie expert and scion of a legendary showbiz family.

Brian De Palma

Iconic filmmaker of big-budget blockbusters as well as cult thrillers, Brian was director and producer of The Bonfire of the Vanities.

Tom Hanks

One of the most beloved movie stars of our time, he played the main character Sherman McCoy in Bonfire.

Melanie Griffith

A defining talent of the 1980’s, she got her big break in a Brian De Palma movie and was Bonfire’s leading lady.

Bruce Willis

Action hero on both TV and movies, he was the surprising choice to play Bonfire’s sleazy reporter Peter Fallow.

Morgan Freeman

Oscar-winning thespian whose role in Bonfire was specifically rewritten for him.

Peter Guber

Hotshot uberproducer who brought Bonfire to Hollywood before abandoning the project.

Lucy Fisher

Studio executive who had the unfortunate job of keeping tabs on Bonfire’s talent and budget.

Eric Schwab

Second unit director and De Palma’s protégé, eager to prove himself to his mentor.

Monica Goldstein

De Palma’s put-upon assistant, who harbors a dream of becoming a producer.

Chris Soldo

Bonfire’s first assistant director, tasked with executing the film’s most difficult shots.

Bill Pankow

Editor of The Bonfire of the Vanities who had to juggle multiple recuts and a looming release date.

Fernando Ferrer

Bronx borough president who uses Bonfire to stoke controversy and further his political career.

Marty Bauer

Boisterous Hollywood agent whose relationship with a famous client reaches a breaking point.