Nick Nolte Has a Story About David Milch, Michael Mann, and a Baseball Bat

Nolte in ‘Luck.’ Photo: HBO

Forgive us for just now noticing (and a hat tip to Movie City News for pointing it out), but wow, Nick Nolte told the Los Angeles Times a pretty good story about Luck last week. “I guess I shouldn’t talk about this, but I’ve heard it going around so I guess it’s not a secret,” began Nolte. “It’s absolutely true.” Nolte confirms that the rumors of discord between Luck writer David Milch and director Michael Mann were no joke, and one day, when Nolte and actor John Ortiz were with Milch waiting for a tardy Mann to turn in his edit, Milch abruptly said, “I’m going to go down to the editing room and I’m going to kill Michael Mann.”

Yeah, that’s certainly a thing to say! Take it away, Nolte:

“The look on Milch’s face was intense, and John was pretty upset and he says, ‘David, you really don’t want to do that. You don’t have a gun, do you?’ And Milch tells him, ‘No, I don’t have a gun but I have a baseball bat and I’m going to kill him. If I’m not back in a few hours, get my lawyers on the phone.’”

“An hour and a half later, Milch comes back and John asks him what happened,” Nolte said. “Milch says something like, ‘I went down there and kicked in the door and Mann was there hunched over the Avid and he looked back at me and then he just kept working.’ Milch stood there for something like 15 minutes and Mann kept looking back every minute or two but he also kept working. And finally I guess Milch realized that Mann was working as fast as he could.”

Of course, Luck was recently put down by HBO after a series of horse deaths, but on that day, things could have gone even worse, Nolte noted. “If Michael had been sitting there eating a sandwich when Milch kicked in the door,” said the actor, “well, it could have been bad.”

Nick Nolte Has a Story About David Milch, Michael Mann, and a Baseball Bat