Austin-based actor Turk Pipkin (who recently reprised a guest role on The Sopranos) is about to release his special documentary project, Nobelity. The doc, which had its world premiere at SXSW 2006, has been a labor of love for the friendly thespian and won over crowds during its Paramount debut last month.
Pipkin will host another special advance screening of the film next week before it rolls out to select theaters on April 21. In the meantime, the Austin American-Statesman checks in with him to get an update and a close look at this cinematic survey of Nobel prize winners:
OK, OK. Let’s turn up the lights for a minute. You say this is a socially conscious film directed by Turk Pipkin? The tall guy with shaggy white hair who used to juggle and mime on the UT campus in the 1970s? The guy who wrote jokes for Harry Anderson on TV’s “Night Court”? The guy who writes those funny golf books? The actor who plays the born-again hippie dude on “The Sopranos”?
Yes. The same Turk Pipkin.
Yet Pipkin has long been involved in social issues. Each year, he entertains injured American troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed military hospitals. He’s active in the city’s environmental movement, particularly in matters involving Barton Springs. His fascination with the Nobel Prize dates to his adolescence, when he came across the text of William Faulkner’s acceptance speech upon winning the prize for literature in 1950.