Justina Mintz/Starz
The television landscape is well populated with memorable villains, but few are as indelible, dastardly, debonair and downright deadly as DANNY HUSTON’s Ben “The Butcher” Diamond on Magic City, which returns to Starz this month. The 51-year-old Huston, who received a Golden Globe nomination for his work on the show, shares some of his favorite fictional gangsters and how they’ve informed his latest creation.

JOHNNY ROCCO IN KEY LARGO
Played by: Edward G. Robinson
“Ben Diamond has a lot of qualities in common with Edward G. Robinson’s Johnny Rocco in Key Largo — the Florida setting, the sudden brutality, the Cuban ties.”

NOAH CROSS IN CHINATOWN
Played by: Huston’s father, legendary filmmaker John Huston
“There’s this courtly, charming, sort of patriarchal manner about this guy, but he’s absolutely terrifying too. I remember seeing this for the first time, and I was just scarred for life. I was young and impressionable, and I wasn’t ever sure who was my father and who was Noah Cross. But I see some Noah Cross in Ben Diamond, definitely.”

THE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE
“It’s not any one character so much as there’s a kind of Shakespearean depth to Ben Diamond. There’s something very sort of sad about him. He had days where he enjoyed this regal power in Cuba, but now he’s got this life in Miami a long way from his glory days. There’s a sad, twisted darkness to him, like so many of the kings and warriors in Shakespeare, and I think that’s one of the things that makes him dangerous.”