John Turturro is one of the great character actors of our time, equally at home carrying a Coen Brothers movie, stealing scenes for Adam Sandler, getting vicious for Spike Lee or bouncing off CGI Transformers with Michael Bay. He’ll probably always be best know for his performance of everyone’s favorite bowling pederast named Jesus in The Big Lebowski, just because it’s one of the funniest characters of all time. However, his rich career spanning almost 100 movies is undeniably impressive and he’s also carved out a small side career as a director of stage and screen. This year Turturro brought his latest directorial to the Toronto International Film Festival and it’s certainly an odd one. In Fading Gigolo, Turturro plays a high end New York escort who is pimped out by none other than Woody Allen. Written and directed by Turturro, it’s a charming little oddball comedy that makes the most out of that pretty brilliant New York character comedy duo.
Collider got a chance to chat with Turturro and co-star Sofia Vergara (who plays one of his many clients in the film) during TIFF. The chat delved into everything from the challenges of writing for Woody, the strange nature of directing yourself, and even that long rumored Jesus-centric Big Lebowski sequel that will hopefully be made some day. Hit the jump for the full interview.
Following yesterday’s big acquisition of the crowd-favorite Can a Song Save Your Life? at the Toronto International Film Festival, we’ve got a few other acquisition stories to attend to:
- After an intense bidding war, Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to Jason Bateman’s directorial debut Bad Words for a whopping $7 million. The spelling bee comedy earned strong marks after its TIFF debut and is slated for a 2014 release. Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, and Ben Falcone (Bridesmaids) also star.
- Director/star John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo has been picked up for worldwide rights by Millennium for $3 million, per Deadline. Turturro stars as a man who aspires to be a professional Don Juan, and ends up being pimped out by his friend played by Woody Allen.
- The relatively new company A24 has picked up the North American rights to director Steven Knight’s drama Locke, starring Tom Hardy as a man struggling to save his personal and professional life over the course of a car ride.
Hit the jump to read the press releases regarding Bad Words and Locke, and click here to catch up on all of our TIFF 2013 coverage thus far.
The first trailer and image for writer/director John Turturro’s new film Fading Gigolo has landed online. Turturro also stars in the pic alongside Woody Allen as two cash-strapped best friends who decide to go into the gigolo business together. Allen acts as the pimp, setting up the many dates for Turturro’s character. Despite the semi-outlandish premise, the film looks to be a rather charming New York story with a swell acting turn from Allen. The pic has been added to the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival lineup, so we can expect first reactions to flow in next month.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to check out the first image. The film also stars Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, and Liev Schreiber.
The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival has added 22 more films to its already-impressive Galas and Special Presentations line-up. Among the notable additions are Hayao Miyazaki‘s The Wind Rises, Kevin Macdonald‘s How I Live Now, Guillaume Canet‘s Blood Ties, James Franco‘s Child of God, John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo starring Woody Allen, Sean Durkin‘s (Martha Marcy May Marlene) Southcliffe, and Lee Sang-il‘s Japanese remake of Unforgiven. This is the point where TIFF attendees’ schedules fall apart. I love the festival, but it’s incredibly front-loaded, which is unfortunate because that means some very hard choices. But among these films, The Wind Rises is the one on my can’t-miss list.
Hit the jump for the full list of additions. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.
Coming off a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for last year’s Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen is gearing up to star in a movie that he won’t direct. Variety reports that Allen is set to join John Turturro’s indie comedy Fading Gigolo. Turturro wrote and will direct the project, which finds Turturro and Allen “playing cash-strapped best friends who decide to go into the gigolo business together and subsequently attract the suspicion of the hasidic Jewish community in which they live.” Allen pimps out Turturro’s character who falls for a Jewish widow. It’s a pretty outlandish premise, but it’s not hard to see why Allen signed on. The guy has an impeccable sense of humor and pairing him with Turturro seems like a perfect match.
Sofia Vergara is also in talks to take a supporting role in the film alongside Sharon Stone, with the two playing customers of Turturro and Allen’s gigolo business. Allen hasn’t acted in a film he didn’t direct since 2000’s Picking Up the Pieces, but he stars this summer in his latest film as a writer-director, Nero Fiddled. Production on Fading Gigolo is set to begin this April in New York.