David Cade Talks Lansky

Recently I spoke with David Cade about the crime thriller “Lansky” and his experiences playing his character and filming the movie.

Photo credit: Riker Brothers


How did you get into acting and what was your big break?

  • I started acting after being inspired by great films my whole childhood. I think the first play I ever did was when I was 8 years old, and then I started doing theater when I was 5. After that, I went to school to study acting, and inevitably ended up in LA when I was 19 years old. If I had to say anything was my “big break” (since I find that this career is really a lesson in proving yourself over and over again) it was when I booked a role on MILK starring Sean Penn. It was my first gig, a tiny part, and it cemented the acting bug for me.



What sort of prep work did you do for the role?

-Preparing to play Ben Siegel was a combination of historical research and using my imagination to find the most authentic and original version to bring to the screen. He was a prolific figure, and one who has had many different actors plays the role. I wanted to make sure I left my mark while being true to who I think the man may have been.



Without giving too much away, do you have a favorite scene in the film?

I suppose my favorite scene in the film is when Meyer calls Ben to tell him he’s losing everything in Vegas. Ben is drunk and is losing control of everything he’s built, and it’s such a tragedy to see the two talk like that to each other.



How hard was it to portray a real character vs a fictional one?

-It’s actually easier in some ways as there’s a guide as to who the character was from history. When you make someone up from top to bottom, it can be hard to trust your choices. But a historical person has a track record of their exploits, and that helps guide you to who the person was.



What do you hope that audiences will take away from the film?

-That ben was a person, not just a monster. He was complex, and he had many great successes in his life. As well as people he cared for deeply. Also, he did horrible things. This is the art of playing characters… embodying every aspect of them without any judgment as to where that leads you.



What challenged you the most about the part?

-The hardest part about playing Ben, and id argue any monster, is not to be a caricature.



Any memorable moments that stand out?

-I think the most memorable things for me on set were the scenes between John and me. He was a pleasure to work with and a lot of fun. Building our characters together was a treat.


What else do you have coming up?

-I have two films coming out soon – SWING and SHRIVER. They’re both very different characters from Ben Siegel, and I look forward to surprising audiences with it.


How did you spend your time in quarantine?

-Mostly writing and working out in the gym. I find both of those things help me escape when I am unable to go anywhere.


When not on set what are some of your favorite things to do?

-I’m also a screenwriter and I have a variety of projects I’m working on. I love to watch boxing or UFC fights, I want to start a business here in Utah (my second home) soon, and I have two wonderful dogs I spend an enormous amount of time with.