Don Johnson's road leads to 'Rome'

Actor returns to studio movies with role in Disney film

Don Johnson is making a return to studio movies with a turn in Disney's "When in Rome." He also will pop up in the indie comedy "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy."

"Rome," which just completed principal photography, sees Johnson playing the father of Kristin Bell, who steals coins from an Italian fountain and finds herself receiving visits from numerous strangers who, having previously thrown coins into the fountain, are now in love with her.

Johnson will appear as a father of a different sort in "Orgy," in which comedian Jason Sudeikis plays his son.

Johnson described "Rome" as "Capra-esque but with a modern and very contemporary spin on the fun and the comedy." He was offered the role by writer-director Mark Steven Johnson. No relation, the actor met the writer in 1990 when Don Johnson was trying to assemble "The Pro," a project he hoped to direct.

Although the project didn't get off the ground, "I gave him one of his first writing jobs," Johnson said. "I was going to direct it, and Jack Nicholson was going to play the Pro, who was a wizard who brings a boy into the golf world."

Johnson's most recent studio movie was 1996's "Tin Cup"; since then, the actor has been busy with TV -- the 1996-2001 cop series "Nash Bridges," followed by the short-lived drama "Just Legal" -- and a recent trio of European movies.

But as the TV scene has changed, Johnson is back courting film work.

"The climate has changed in that there's very few slots for dramas or for the things that I wanted to do," he said. "And I didn't want to do another cop show, though I would consider something if it were international in scope and global in nature."