I’ll Admit It: I’m Down Bad For John Turturro

Hollywood hearthrob, he is not. But he is the daddy of my most demented daydreams.

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I’ll Admit It: I’m Down Bad For John Turturro
Photo: (AP)

Most people would probably say they saw The Batman for emo Robert Pattinson, or perhaps for the latex legend that is Zoe Kravitz—but this girl? She risked The Rona to feast her eyes upon John Turturro: the man, the myth, the tried-and-true thespian of our time. Why, you might wonder? Because I have taste.

If that name somehow doesn’t mean anything to you, allow me to introduce you to my Italian boyfriend the Brooklyn-born and bred, critically acclaimed actor, director, producer and writer and happily married father of two adult children.

Though Turturro has been around the industry block for a few decades, he’s had an exceptional year. You might know him from recent Apple TV+ sleeper hit, Severance, a sci-fi thriller series that sees Turturro’s Irving, an aging and adorable company man, falling for a colleague, Christopher Walken’s Burt. In The Batman, you’ll recognize him as Carmine Falcone, the graceful Gotham gangster and *spoiler alert* dad to Zoe Kravitz—how unfair that even her fictional fathers are fine as hell. I never fancied myself a mob wife, but between the tinted glasses and tire-on-gravel voice, I’d gleefully be his bethrothed in all things big and bad.

I knew I was besotted with Turturro back in 2016, when he took an endearing turn as a pathetic criminal court attorney plagued by psoriasis and a few past mistakes in HBO’s The Night Of. As it happened, not only was I late to the party, I also hadn’t realized this man’s range.

Turturro rose to fame in the late eighties as a racist pizza shop employee in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, a bowling ball-licking eccentric and alluded-pederast in The Big Lebowski, and then as an evangelical basketball coach in He Got Game. From there, Turturro has starred opposite a who’s who of Hollywood A-listers like George Clooney in O, Brother Where Art Thou? and Julianne Moore in Gloria Bell, a recent romcom wherein Turturro plays Moore’s unlikely love interest, fond of reading poetry aloud on the couch and twirling her around in corny singles bars to Earth, Wind and Fire. I’m still annoyed that no one thought to call me for Moore’s part.

Sure, he’s had his duds, aka the self-directed The Jesus Rolls, Secret Window and anything helmed by Adam Sandler (Mr. Deeds, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan). But he’s also managed to rack up an array of awards, isn’t afraid to dabble in directing, producing and writing, and is a longtime collaborator of Joel and Ethan Cohen (!).

“It’s amazing how he allows himself to be humiliated in front of the camera,” the famous brothers have said. How ironic! I’d also allow myself to be humiliated in front of a camera for him!

On a personal note: Turturro is a Pisces (I can work with this!), has been married to the same woman for the last 37 years (a commitment king!), leads a pretty private life in Park Slope (I’m down!), and most importantly, doesn’t pop off about politics or anything he clearly knows nothing about on Twitter (sexy!). Oh, and if you’re a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills devotee, I dare you to close one eye, spin around three times and tell me he’s NOT a deadringer for Kyle Richards’ husband’s long-lost, buttoned-up brother.

I may be spending the rest of my weekend binging Severance and perhaps seeing The Batman for a third time, but in my mind, I’m somewhere in Brooklyn sharing a bowl of pasta with Turturro, Lady in the Tramp-style. He’d nudge a meatball toward me with his nose and I’d look away in a show of faux shyness. And then we’d slurp on and share a sloppy kiss or ten. He might be my actual father’s age, but I’ll always have room for one more daddy.

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