'Winning Time' Episode 10: John C Reilly says Paul Thomas Anderson 'put it all together' for him

"He’s someone who’s so excited to see what you’re going to do next," Reilly said, lavishing praise on the 'Licorice Pizza' director


                            'Winning Time' Episode 10: John C Reilly says Paul Thomas Anderson 'put it all together' for him
John C Reily as Jerry Buss in a still from 'Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty' (HBO)
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John C Reilly as Lakers owner Jerry Buss in 'Winning Time and the Rise of the Lakers Dynasty' has been one of the fan favorites. The charm and chutzpah Buss exuded were all seen in Reilly's portrayal and safe to say, he was an absolutely perfect choice to play the part. The actor, in an exclusive with Vulture, talked 'Winning Time' and the directors who played a pivotal part in shaping his career. 

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“Well, those directors all discovered me one at a time,” Reilly opined. “Brian De Palma literally did discover me (‘Casualties of War’), and after that, the others were like, ‘Oh my God, I found the perfect person for this role. I don’t know where this kid came from, but he’s perfect.'” That said, the actor credits 'Boogie Nights' director Paul Thomas Anderson for "putting it all together".

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"Paul Thomas Anderson was the first one who put it all together, who was like, ‘I know you from this movie, and this movie, and this movie. And I know you can do more than you’ve been doing, so I wrote this part for you,'” he said. “I can tell you what it’s like to work with Paul. He’s someone who’s so excited to see what you’re going to do next. That sounds like an obvious thing, but having one person’s complete attention while you’re acting is important,” he remarked.

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“You would be amazed at the number of film sets where the director is looking at the monitor or worried about what the lighting or camera is doing,” he said. “Where there’s no one emotionally connected with you to come up after the take and say, like Paul does, all sweating and excited, ‘Oh yeah, that was so cool. I saw that time you got a little more pissed off when you said that thing. Let’s keep going that way. That’s so great. Yes, yes, yes.'”

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Reilly shed light on working with director Martin Scorsese as well. “Martin Scorsese is the same way: He hires great people, and he lets them surprise him,” Reilly said. “I haven’t worked with many mediocre directors, but if I were to describe someone that way, it would be because they weren’t paying attention.”

'Winning Time and the Rise of the Lakers Dynasty' finale airs Sunday, May 8 at 9 pm ET on HBO. 

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