Jerry Lewis hasn’t starred in a film since the mid-’90s. So, how did writer-director Daniel Noah convince the Hollywood legend to play a jazz musician attempting to unravel a mystery concerning his recently deceased wife in the new drama, Max Rose?
“He had no agent, there was no way of reaching him,” Noah recently told EW. “We tried a million ways to get through to him and we were shut down in every one. We finally discovered that he had an office in Las Vegas. So, we kind of cold-called and his secretary said, ‘He doesn’t make pictures any more. You can send the script, but he won’t read it.’ We sent it and and expected never to hear from him again. While we were waiting he was given his honorary Oscar (in 2009). I remember sitting in front of the TV watching him and I thought, This is the closest I’m ever going to get to Jerry Lewis. About a week later, we get a call from him. He had read the script and he committed on the phone. He said, ‘Let’s make a movie,’ and we were off and running.”
In an exclusive clip from the movie, above, Kevin Pollak attempts to comfort and cheer up Lewis, playing his father, by bringing over some comedies to watch, but to no effect.
Max Rose costars Kerry Bishé, Claire Bloom, Dean Stockwell, Mort Sahl, and Illeana Douglas, and is currently expanding into theaters around the country.
See the trailer for Max Rose below.