Woody Allen Joins Fading Gigolo

Co-starring with John Turturro

It's very rare these days that Woody Allen turns out as an actor in a film he isn't directing. So John Turturro must be feeling very privileged (or very pleased with his powers of persuasion) that Allen has agreed to appear in Fading Gigolo.

Turturro wrote, and will direct and star in the film, which sees him playing the titular escort, with Allen as his pimp. No, really! According to Variety's synopsis, the pair are "cash-strapped best friends" who decide the gigolo business is their way forward, but attract the ire of their local Hasidic Jewish community in the process. They operate under the pseudonyms Virgil and Bongo, and there's a further complication when Turturro falls in love with a Jewish widow.

That's "Virgil" and "Bongo".

The widow hasn't been cast yet, but Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara are both confirmed for unspecified supporting roles.

Allen's last major role in someone else's film was in Alfonso Arau's Picking Up The Pieces 12 years ago. Before that (not including the animation Antz, where he voiced the main character, co-starring with Sylvester Stallone) you have to go back to Paul Mazursky's 1991 Scenes From A Mall. But if he's only taking one unfettered acting gig per decade, we have to applaud him for choosing Fading Gigolo. It's sounding like mad genius to us.

Shooting starts in April, and we'll next see Allen on-screen in his own Nero Fiddled (previously The Bop Decameron). That one's out in the US on June 22, and will hopefully reach the UK at around the same time.