Michael Mann’s 2009 crime epic “Public Enemies” saw a number of major Hollywood stars step into the roles of infamous gangsters from the 1930s. Johnny Depp played John Dillinger, Channing Tatum played Pretty Boy Floyd, and Jason Clarke played Red Hamilton, just to name a few. Despite being fairly early in his Hollywood career, Bill Camp was able to step into the role of one of the most infamous gangsters of the bunch — Frank Nitti. Nitti was the right-hand man of Chicago legend Al Capone, and in the film, he is portrayed as a more refined gangster with aspirations for white-collar crimes beyond John Dillinger’s petty bank robberies.
Though he was very much a real person, Frank Nitti has been depicted numerous times across a wide range of media over the years. Bill Camp’s version of the man is a more realistic portrayal of how he likely was, but different actors have put different flavors on him, with the version played by Billy Drago in “The Untouchables” arguably making him the most menacing and supervillain-esque of the bunch. That said, in true Michael Mann fashion, authenticity was the name of the game in “Public Enemies,” and Camp played Nitti as a far more realistic and understated man.