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Ed Burns Chats About His Long History in the Hamptons

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Writer, actor, and director Ed Burns says he fell in love with the Hamptons as a kid. Growing up on Long Island, his family went out to Hither Hills. "Then through college, I cleaned pools, I worked in restaurants, I landscaped, and that is really what exposed me to all those different pockets I wasn't aware of… All those college years, I'm a kid dreaming of being a filmmaker, working on my screenplays, and traveling around all these different neighborhoods in the Hamptons, fantasizing about when I make money, this is where I'll buy."

Now living in East Hampton, Burns has a TV series premiering this month, Public Morals, based on his father and uncle's stories of the NYPD in the 1960s through the 1980s. His co-star Neal McDonough sat down with Burns for an interview published in Hamptons magazine where Burns reveals his inspiration for writing the show, his longtime friendship with Steven Spielberg, and gives a sneak preview into his new tell-all memoir. (Want a signed copy? See Burns at East Hampton Authors Night tomorrow evening.) To read the whole interview, pick up the latest issue of Hamptons.

Burns says he drives his kids crazy reminiscing about his old Hamptons stomping grounds. "I'm driving past them all the time and they're all like, "Yeah, Dad, we know, you used to mow his lawn.' But I still get a kick out of it. I still love driving by the places that I rented back then… Any time I drive past there, I think I've come quite a ways since living behind the auto parts store on Three Mile Harbor Road."

Why write a memoir? "During the process of making those two films, my wife [model Christy Turlington], said to me, 'You ought to think about writing a book about the experience,' and you know, I thought it was a good idea, but I just never did anything with it. Years later, I was speaking at a film school, and telling the stories of how I made these micro-budgeted films, and the professor said, 'Look I can tell you right now, my students would love it if they had a textbook, basically a how-to, based on all these different experiences you had.' Of course, I go home and tell my wife and Christy's like, 'Yeah, I've been telling you that for years—it's time to do it.' So that's what I did."
· Easy Does It [Hamptons]
· Public Morals [TNT]