Susan Sarandon thought John Turturro’s The Big Lebowski spin-off The Jesus Rolls was so “crazy” it would never be made.
The actor originally played the scene-stealing bowler Jesus Quintana in the Coen Brothers’ crime comedy back in 1998, alongside Jeff Bridges and John Goodman.
More than two decades later, the 63-year-old has reprised his iconic character for the movie spin-off, which is also a loose remake of Bertrand Blier’s 1974 film Going Places, as well as writing and directing his passion project.
During an interview on U.S. breakfast show Today, Sarandon, who plays former prisoner Jean, confessed she was stunned when she got the call from Turturro asking her to come to set to begin filming, as she thought his passion project was too ambitious to be given the green light.
“I said yes (to the job) thinking they would never get the money!” she quipped. “It was so crazy, the script, and so much was going on, and I was like, I love John, I’d do anything he asked me to do. I love Bobby (Cannavale, co-star), we’ve worked together before, I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, sure, sure – it’ll never happen!’ And it happened!”
And having her old friend behind the camera made the experience all the more fun for Sarandon, because she was already familiar with his shooting style, having previously collaborated on 1998’s Illuminata and 2005’s Romance & Cigarettes, which were both also written and directed by Turturro.
“John is very special, he creates an atmosphere that (makes) you feel very safe, you can throw out anything to try,” she explained. “It’s just fun, that’s the main thing, and you know he knows what he’s doing.”
The Jesus Rolls, also starring Audrey Tautou, Pete Davidson and Jon Hamm, is in U.S. cinemas from Friday.
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