John Turturro is such the ultimate Brooklynite that one sometimes forgets the 58-year-old has a lifetime of accumulated wisdom from globetrotting under his belt. Vulture met up with the veteran actor for a stroll along the beach to pick his brain on what he’s learned since his first of six trips to the Cannes Film Festival in 1991, when both Barton Fink and Jungle Fever debuted and Fink swept the top awards. Turturro was at Cannes this year as the comic relief for Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre, playing the disastrously unprepared, big-name American actor shipped in to star in an Italian film about labor unions directed by a woman (Margherita Buy) whose mother (Giulia Lazzarini) is dying. It’s Turturro at his zaniest, spouting off dreams he’s had about Kevin Spacey trying to kill him, singing Italian songs about milk with his head out the window of a moving car, and throwing glorious temper tantrums on set. And while the film got a somewhat lukewarm reception, Turturro remained blissful: seemingly happy just being in the South of France, catching up with old friends Joel and Ethan Coen and Frances McDormand, eating good food, and taking long walks in the sun. What’s the secret to his Zen-like Don Draper–ness? We compiled our conversation into an easy guide.
For one, call your mother!