John C. Reilly explains why he finally stopped resisting TV roles
Reilly appears in new series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.
John C. Reilly has done it all. He's starred in more comedies than you can count, has appeared in the Marvel universe, and has been nominated for an Oscar and multiple Golden Globes. But bar recent comedy show Moonbase 8, what he hasn't done is taken on a major TV role - until now.
Reilly is appearing in the new series coming to Sky Atlantic and NOW, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, about the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers basketball team.
Reilly plays the owner of the team Jerry Buss, and speaking to RadioTimes.com in an exclusive Big RT Interview, he explained why he was "always kind of resistant to TV", and how one man changed that - Ben Stiller.
Reilly said: "I came up in movies and plays and I just thought television, for a long time, had a stigma of being low quality or rushed. Then I saw Escape at Dannemora that Ben Stiller directed and I was like, 'Wow.'
"Of course if you have Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Arquette and Paul Dano you want to watch them for seven hours or 10 hours. So that show single-handedly really turned me around about TV and its possibilities."
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Reilly went on to describe how his experience on Winning Time differed to his work in film.
He said: "Film has always been a director’s medium, almost like a short story in a way, it has to be so concise. Everything leads to the next plot point or has to do this arc and there you are, that’s a two-hour movie.
"And a lot of times as an actor you have all this research that you’ve done but it never makes it onscreen. You’re reading stories about what it was like at dinner with the family that night but there’s no room in the movie for that.
"But on a television show or a streaming series, actors get to give a lot more and the art-form itself is almost becoming a more actor-based, or character-based medium. You get into the backstories of people and that’s really interesting."
Alongside Reilly, Winning Time stars Quincy Isaiah, Jason Clarke, Gaby Hoffmann, and Adrien Brody amongst many others, and is executive produced by Adam McKay, who also directed episode 1.
Stay tuned to RadioTimes.com to read the full chat with John C. Reilly in his Big RT Interview soon.
Winning Time: The Rise of The Lakers Dynasty airs on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW on 28th March.
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