The Coen brothers connection: John Turturro has appeared in four films by Joel and Ethan Coen. (He met Joel’s wife, actress Frances McDormand, while they were both at the Yale school of drama.) A collection of Coen brothers films recently was released in a DVD box set to coincide with their new film, No Country for Old Men. It includes Fargo, Blood Simple and four films that feature Turturro in memorable roles: Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and one you might have heard of ... The Big Lebowski (it's a very cool collector's edition. A perfect holiday gift!)
The Mark Cuban connection: The Mavs owner and movie mogul is a potential partner, Turturro said, on a film called Prince Jack, about NBA player Jack Molinas, who became embroiled in a gambling scandal. “I talked to Mark about it,” Turturro said. “I would love to make that movie.” In an e-mail, Cuban said: I think it could be a great project.
The Spike Lee connection: Friend and fellow Knicks fan Lee has cast Turturro in eight films, most memorably as the racist pizza maker Pino in Do the Right Thing. Two years later, he played Paulie Carbone, the voice of reason in Lee’s Jungle Fever. In that film, Turturro mixes it up, literally, with little brother and fellow actor Nick.
The toughest Turturro role? For an actor who has tackled everything from Shakespeare to Monkey Bone, he says it’s The Truce, a 1998 film about Primo Levi, an Italian Jew returning home from Auschwitz.
What’s next? Watch for Turturro in a supporting role in Margot at the Wedding, starring Nicole Kidman. And in 2008, he’s slated to play The Mouse King in Nutcracker: The Untold Story. And there’s always that Jesus movie ...