For the first time in over a decade, Woody Allen will play to another director. Fellow triple threat actor-writer-director John Turturro (“Romance and Cigarettes”) has cast Allen in his upcoming “Fading Gigolo.” Allen, who just won his fourth Oscar (for original screenplay) for his biggest hit ever, “Midnight in Paris,” returns to the screen after six years this June in his own Rome-set romantic roundelay, “Nero Fiddled.”
Turturro wrote the film about two down-and-out pals (Turturro and Allen) who decide to make some cash in the gigolo business. Taking the names “Virgil and Bongo,” comedy and humiliation are sure to ensue. Casting Allen is a smart bid to brand “Fading Gigolo” to the smart comedy crowd; Variety reports that Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”) are also in talks to act alongside the comedic pair.
Italian-American Turturro has delivered four indie films to date, all of them well-reviewed, none of them commercial, from the superb semi-autobiographical “Mac” and Cannes entry “Illuminata” to outrageously funny “Romance & Cigarettes,” which starred Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet and James Gandolfini and fell victim to the end of United Artists. “Romance & Cigarettes” was such a hit in Italy that financeers hired Turturro to direct a doc, “Passione,” showcasing the music, old and new, of Naples. TOH interviewed Turturro for that must-see “music adventure,” below.