Master Class With John Turturro

John Turturro and Spike Lee's long-standing collaboration spans several films, including Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues and He Got Game. i i

John Turturro and Spike Lee's long-standing collaboration spans several films, including Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues and He Got Game. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
John Turturro and Spike Lee's long-standing collaboration spans several films, including Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues and He Got Game.

John Turturro and Spike Lee's long-standing collaboration spans several films, including Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues and He Got Game.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Jesus in the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski, Pino in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, Herb Stempel in Robert Redford's Quiz Show — actor John Turturro has performed countless memorable movie roles. Moving behind the camera, Turturro wrote, directed and starred in the new movie Fading Gigolo, which found him working alongside one of his influences, Woody Allen. It all started because the two men share the same barber.

"We decided that I would write it, and he would give me his feedback, which I didn't know was going to be merciless," Turturro told Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg. "Beyond merciless. It was like, 'This is terrible. I hate this. I could be wrong, but ...' "

Turturro was kind enough to indulge us in a game where he reprised some of his most famous movie lines, and did not disappoint. And in an Ask Me Another Challenge, his wife, the actress Katherine Borowitz, joined Turturro to play a trivia round about fellow prolific thespian Christopher Walken.


Interview Highlights

On the idea for Fading Gigolo

I thought [Allen and I would] be an interesting team together in something, and I was thinking, well, what would we be doing? So, I had a friend who had a bookstore, and he was the same age as Woody, lost the bookstore, and I was thinking, wow, maybe we could wind up in the sex business. And I shared my crazy idea with our haircutter, who is Woody's haircutter and my haircutter — his name is Anthony. And Anthony talked to Woody. ... So Anthony calls me up ... and he said, "John, I have good news. Woody wants to talk to you."

On being influenced by some of the directors he's worked with

[Michael Bay] blows everything up all the time. I actually was in all those [Transformers] movies, and ... basically I just imitate Michael Bay. He thinks I'm hysterical, and basically all I'm doing is mirroring him. ... I do it with affection.

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