Joe McGovern
July 12, 2016 AT 04:49 PM EDT

In The Infiltrator, Bryan Cranston and John Leguizamo star as drug enforcement agents in 1980s Miami, attempting to take down the international king of cocaine, Pablo Escobar. Cranston’s real-life character, Bob Mazur, goes undercover as a big-time money launderer, in order to ultimately stop the flow of money, thereby stopping the flow of drugs.

But in this exclusive scene, Mazur and his partner Emir (Leguizamo) need to brainstorm about their new aliases — and where better to do that than in a local cemetery. The dialogue is lightly-humored, buoyed by the two actors’ comic timing, but director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) tells EW that filming the scene was about as real as you can imagine.

“The movie was financed out of London,” Furman says, “so we were making an ’80s period piece in Florida, but I was shooting 90 percent of it in current-day London. That was an absolute insane challenge. When we moved the production to Tampa, we only had a week there, so it was a requirement for me to milk Florida for all it was worth.”

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Furman huddled with Cranston and Leguizamo and all agreed that the graveyard scene had to be shot in the Sunshine State. On a Sunday, the three men hopped in a car with two production interns from the University of Tampa and the movie’s cinematographer, Joshua Reis. “And the five of us shot the scene,” Furman says.

“Or I should say we stole the scene. We had no permit. Every time Bryan and John did a take, there was this groundskeeper or gravedigger who would drive up closer to us, and all of the sudden we’d all act like we were looking at the tombstones,” he adds. “It made me feel like I was 19 again, making movies with my friends.”

Furman believes that the loose, guerilla filming tactics are reflected in the performances of Cranston and Leguizamo, both of whom also appeared in The Lincoln Lawyer. “They both love shooting that way,” he says. “And as a result of that, you know, not having a hundred people on set, it brought out a sense of relaxation between them. We were able to capture an authenticity between two friends.”

The Infiltrator opens in theaters on July 13.

David Lee

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