‘Bad Boys’ Screenwriter: ‘Real People’ Exist Outside of Hollywood

In a LifeZette interview, Doug Richardson opens up about his new novel and his show biz experiences

Doug Richardson and Lucky Dey walk the same Los Angeles streets. The former does so as a writer, someone partly responsible for films such as “Die Hard 2” and “Bad Boys,” always looking for the next story — while the latter does so as a fictional detective who solves the worst of crimes.

Both Richardson and his Dey character have a distinct similarity in their world views, despite such differing life pursuits. “He likes clarity and I like clarity, yet we live in this incredible world of gray,” Richardson told LifeZette in an interview.

That “incredible world of gray” is the land of dreams: Hollywood. Richardson described the locale of his Lucky Dey thrillers — this is the fourth book — as being nearly as important as the central character. He called the series “San Fernando noir,” an excuse to “explore the nooks and crannies of this place I live in.”

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The place seems to be the perfect platform for conflict and character struggles. “It’s this place where the guy who just opened the door for you at the 7-11 and you said, ‘Thank you,’ and he said, ‘You’re welcome,’ might have been the guy who just shot your friend or ripped off your house,” the “Hostage” screenwriter said.

Los Angeles, to a writer like Richardson, feels like a world in which there’s only “two degrees of separation between good and evil.”

“American Bang,” the latest Lucky Dey thriller, traces the surprising events that follow the outburst of a thoughtless teenager. Dey becomes wrapped up — in true noir fashion — with everything from corrupt cops to slick gangsters in his city of Los Angeles.

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The beating sunshine and sometimes absurd nature of LA is something Richardson is used to writing about by now. For the past few years, he’s built a reputation as one of the more honest and open Hollywood players out there, as he’s written of his Hollywood adventures in a popular blog that captures everything one needs to know about the industry. Richardson eventually turned his blogs into the 2015 book, “The Smoking Gun.”

Born in Arcadia, California, Richardson “did most of his growing up on a small ranch in the rural foothills outside Sacramento,” as he notes on his website, “and was 12 when he discovered his father’s collection of Ian Fleming’s James Bond paperbacks on a shelf in his parent’s converted garage.” The screenwriter then found himself hooked on the film series and cinema in general.

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“The most unique thing about my blog is that I wrote it,” Richardson told LifeZette. He says he knows plenty of Hollywood artists with bigger and better stories than he who just don’t have a desire to put a public face on their experiences — at least not yet, anyway.

Richardson’s career and personal adventures include everything from working with Bruce Willis (multiple times) to offending major stars when he admits to being a hunter.

“Most of my friends are outside show biz because those are real people,” said Richardson, adding that the “real people” exist in what many coastal celebrities refer to as the “flyover states.”

“Most of my friends are outside show biz … those are real people.”

Richardson’s outsider eye is what make his blogs and latest novel unique. His eye for the place he lives in is like that of no other writer. “I’ve always wanted to feel like I was just visiting,” he said.

For now, novels are where his passion lie, as they keep him at enough distance from the movie business and he can fill more creative desires with the pursuit. He told LifeZette of his jump into novels, “When you write a book, you’re writing it, you’re directing it, you’re art-directing it, you’re the set decorator, you’re the painter, you’re lighting it yourself … that’s the most satisfying part of it.”

“American Bang” is available now.

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PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected].