As if that iconic ’70s porn stache didn’t catapult him to sex symbol status already in the King Richard film, Jon Bernthal certainly delivers a worthy performance in the new American Gigolo series for Showtime. Bernthal, 45, is known for his roles in The Walking Dead, The Punisher and most recently as portraying the role of a younger Rick Macci — the coach of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams in the Oscar winning film, King Richard. But the current buzz surrounding the star isn’t for any of the aforementioned accolades, it’s because of his sultry and sexy abs-bearing role as a gigolo in the adapted miniseries of the 1980 classic film, American Gigolo, starring Richard Gere.
The original film saw Gere take on the role of the young, suave and sexy Julian Kay — a gigolo living a life of luxury and taking down affluent women, commanding a nice price in the exchange. He ultimately gets caught up in his line of work and becomes the prime suspect in a murder case.
The adaptation of the movie sees Bernthal now emerging from jail after being exonerated from the murder case (years later) and jumping right back into his profession. I mean, the price has to go up for some seasoned zaddy d—k, doesn’t it? In the trailer for the upcoming Showtime series, Bernthal is seen showing off that sculpted body — surely doing his job at reeling us all in, to tune into the series. We see his character earning his escort fee as he makes empty love to a client, flaunting that greek god, muscled physique simultaneously. The trailer also provides some nostalgia for fans of the original film, as the Blondie song Call Me, is featured in the trailer. I guess they were trying to wet our tongues in more than one way with this tease. Mission accomplished.
LGBTQ+ entertainment legend and former talk show host, Rosie O’Donnell is also starring in the adaptation. O’Donnell plays a detective in the miniseries, who informs Bernthal’s character that he is indeed free — after one of his former clients Michelle (originally portrayed by the divine Lauren Hutton), gives him an alibi on the murderous night in question. The series gets juicy when O’Donnell’s character, Detective Sunday, informs him that a “killer for hire” was actually behind the murder that wrongly incarcerated him.
Paul Schrader, who wrote and directed the original movie, has stated that he was against the idea of a remake, of any kind. Schrader in a Facebook post said that he thought it was a “terrible idea”:
“Some years ago I received a call from Paramount asking about remaking American Gigolo as a series…
I replied that I thought it was a terrible idea – times had changed, internet porn had redefined male sex work, viruses, etc.”
-Paul Schrader via Facebook
While Schrader is adamant that he will not watch the new series, he sends his blessings to Bernthal, expressing his admiration for the handsome actor. I doubt that he’s the only one that is willing to express his admiration for Jon Bernthal, the Hollywood stud has been on fire as of late.
American Gigolo premieres on Showtime on September 9. Will you be tuning in?