John C. Reilly calls the LA Lakers owner one of the greatest characters he has ever played

John C. Reilly said he was “in awe” to play Jerry Buss, the famous LA Lakers owner who “literally changed the world.”

he American-Irish actor, 56, took on the role a week before filming of the pilot for Winning Time: The Rise Of The Lakers Dynasty after a last-minute cast change.

The HBO series, directed by Adam McKay, is a comedy drama that follows the professional and personal lives of the 1980s basketball team – Los Angeles Lakers.


Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant and Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss (Kevork Djansezian/PA)

Reilly told the PA news agency: “The first thing that drew me to the project was Adam McKay.

“Then I read the script and I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is one of the greatest characters I’ve ever been offered.’

“His positivity, the way he saw adversity as something that had to be pushed aside. I just love the story.

“The more I Dr. When I met Jerry Buss, I was just amazed by what he could do and was doing.

“The guy had a PhD in physical chemistry. I don’t think there is a single sports owner in the world right now who has a PhD in physical chemistry.


Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (Sky UK/HBO)

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“But it took everything he had financially, emotionally and intellectually to pull this off.”

Realizing that basketball needed to be “popular,” Buss introduced music that is now “at the heart of the game,” as well as The Laker Girls, Reilly said.

He added, “He (Buss) changed entertainment and in doing so, literally changed the world.

“I have high hopes for myself before I die, but I’m not sure I’ll change the whole world.

“And that’s a really impressive thing. It’s an impressive guy to play.”


John C Reilly (Chris Ratcliffe/PA)

Reilly added that the “hardest thing” about portraying a real person is that “their family is still alive.”

“Even though Jerry died, Jerry’s family is alive, they still own the Lakers and there have been many times where I’ve thought, wow, that would be difficult for me to see someone portray my father, and at his heights and Depths I had a real sensitivity to.

“Regardless of what happened to the character, I tried to present her with dignity, compassion and truth rather than just trying to tell a sensational, somewhat scandalous story.

“This guy has been through some intense things and I think the best way to honor him and his family was to tell the truth because the truth is great.

“The truth is a miracle,” he said. John C. Reilly calls the LA Lakers owner one of the greatest characters he has ever played

Fry Electronics Team

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