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Ed Burns made the Epix series Bridge and Tunnel like an indie filmmaker

On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, the writer, director, producer and actor explains why '80s Long Island is the perfect time and place to revisit during a pandemic.

Bridge and Tunnel Ed Burns
Ed Burns (center) created, wrote, directed, produced and stars in the new Epix series Bridge and Tunnel.

This story is part of I'm So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

Filmmaker Ed Burns was born out of the sweat, creativity and ingenuity of the '90s low-budget indie film movement. Famously he wrote, directed, produced and starred in his first feature The Brothers McMullen. The film launched his career as an actor, leading to roles in Saving Private Ryan, The Holiday, 27 Dresses, Man on the Ledge and many other movies. Over the years, Burns continued to act but also flex his Renaissance man talents working on over a dozen films as the writer, director, producer and star.

His latest project is the new Epix series Bridge and Tunnel, which follows a group of Long Island college grads chasing their dreams in the '80s. This is the first TV show Burns has made using his multifaceted approach as a filmmaker.

On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, Burns explains the idea behind the show and what he set out to accomplish.

"I wanted to make this ensemble comedy drama. One goal early on was to put a smile on your face and to have a good time for a half hour," says Burns. "I was interested in this idea that these kids are coming home from school, and they all kind of grew up on the same block on Long Island."

Burns says he set the show in the late '70s/early '80s because it was a time in New York when young artists could afford to move into Manhattan and make their dreams come true.

During our conversation, he explains how COVID-19 protocols hit his budget during the production of Bridge and Tunnel. He discusses making a Calvin Klein ad with his wife Christy Turlington and shares his secrets for making films on a tiny budget.

You can listen to my entire conversation with Burns on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You can watch the first season of Bridge and Tunnel online or on Epix. Also, you can subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo and I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsessions.