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Law & Order vet Danny Pino on the real-life inspiration behind new show Hotel Cocaine

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MGM+’s new show Hotel Cocaine often sees Law & Order veteran Danny Pino skirting both sides of the law. The actor plays Roman Compte, a real-life Cuban exile and CIA asset who became something akin to Humphrey Bogart‘s Rick in Casablanca.

Compte was the general manager of Miami’s infamous Mutiny Hotel, a hotspot for people on all sides of the law, says the actor — who notes he was well acquainted with the hotel’s rep. “You know, being from Miami, you were aware of the history, and it still stands today.”

He continues, “A very dangerous, sexy, volatile place that catered to citizens of Miami who were, you know, very much not involved in any illegality or anything nefarious. Politicians, superstars, celebrities … the cocaine cowboys, the DEA. And we all knew. We all knew that story. We didn’t need Scarface to tell us that.” 

He explains, “I was born and raised in Miami, Cuban-American. Both my parents are Cuban. My grandparents are Cuban. You know, they came over as exiles in the ’60s.” He describes the Mutiny Club as an “indelible part” of the transformation of Miami in the ’70s from a vacation and retirement city to one that is “cosmopolitan, and dynamic and international.”

Pino continues, “That was started with, you know, the infusion of not only Cubans, who came in with a professional work ethic. … But then you also start to add in the more nefarious influences economically with the drug trade and the cocaine wars. And now you have a very volatile mix and blend that is perpetuated at the Mutiny Club.”  

 

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