John C Reilly on feeling stuck: “80 movies and nothing to do”

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Oscar-nominated actor, with a vast career whose origins date back to the late eighties. But after more than three decades, John C Reilly felt he was at an impasse. Not since 2018 have we seen the beloved comedian take on a leading role on the big screen. And to top it off, his last film with that feature was Holmes & Watson, a comedy destroyed by critics and a resounding failure at the box office. But luckily, Reilly continues to find exciting opportunities on the small screen.

John C Reilly’s next role will be that of Jerry Buss, former owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, in the HBO sports series Lakers: Time to Win. It will consist of a ten-episode drama, which (in the words of dead line) “chronicles the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Lakers,” the basketball group being “one of the sport’s most revered and dominant dynasties, a team that defined its era both on and off the court.”

The upcoming show boasts the Oscar winner Adam McKay (don’t look up) as director and executive producer. In fact, McKay contacted Reilly directly—a friend and collaborator on films like Step Brothers (2008)—to offer him one of the main roles of the program. It was a last minute proposal and the actor only had 48 hours to decide if he accepted or declined. But there were certainly no other projects cluttering up his schedule.

“I was sitting at my kitchen table, thinking, ‘Man, I’m stuck. All this work, eighty movies, and I have nothing to do.’ Then I got the text from Adam,” Reilly said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Let us remember that the fifty-year-old histrion has a career where on several occasions he put himself at the service of prominent filmmakers, such as Martin Scorsese in New York gangs (2002) and Paul Thomas Anderson in boogie nights (1997). Reilly is even part of the cast of Licorice Pizza, Anderson’s new film that this week hits Mexican theaters. Before, he also ventured into animated productions such as Ralph the devastating (2012) and blockbusters What Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). But neither can we forget his work in Chicago (2002), which earned him an Academy Award nomination, and his portrayal of legendary comedian Oliver Hardy in the biographical film The fat and the skinny (2018).

With Lakers: Time to Win, John C Reilly will return to the field of “real life characters”, but now in the shoes of Jerry Buss. He was a businessman, philanthropist, and majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. Under his leadership, ten championships were won during the “Showtime” era of the 1980s.

Originally, Michael Shannon was contemplated for the paper. However, the veteran interpreter was never able to adapt to the format of breaking the fourth wall, so characteristic of Adam McKay, according to what the same director told THR. A week before the pilot was shot, Shannon quit. It was then that McKay urgently sought out Reilly, who in a matter of hours read the script and signed a contract.

Lakers: Time to Win will have its premiere on March 6, on HBO channels, including the platform of streaming HBOMax.

John C Reilly’s entry, on feeling stuck: “80 movies and nothing to do” was first published in Cinema PREMIERE.

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