The most talked-about performance at the Sundance Film Festival’s opening-night screening of “Before Sunrise” wasn’t given by either of the pic’s youthful leads, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. The big news was the debut of John Sloss as a triple threat: Producer, attorney and actor.
Most veterans of the independent movie scene had a good chuckle when the lanky Gotham lawyer, who reps filmmakers John Sayles, Whit Stillman, Kevin Smith and Richard Linklater, popped up in a cameo role during the kickoff to the Park City fest, which runs from Jan. 19-29.
During a Viennese cafe scene in which Hawke and Delpy enjoy a tete-a-tete, Sloss “plays” a New York yuppie who boorishly complains about the deplorable state of service in the coffeehouse.
A Sundance fixture for years, Sloss has attempted to grace the screen in his clients’ films before.
When Stillman was shooting “Barcelona,” the attorney flew to that city and played a minor part as a reveler. Since Sloss is about 61/2 feet tall, and towered over most of the cast during the limbo party scene, he created a composition problem for the director of photography and ended up on the cutting-room floor.
Castle Rock Entertainment execs must have been watching the attorney’s performance closely. In addition to exec producing “Sunrise” for Castle Rock, he’s doing the same chores for two pix on its upcoming slate. First out of the gate will be “American Buffalo,” which Michael Corrente (“Federal Hill”) will direct. Only time will tell whether Sloss will beat out Al Pacino as the leading man and grace that production as a two-bit hoodlum planning a hold-up.