Dillon will have no trouble traveling to Venice since he is currently in Italy.
The U.S. actor/director was praised as “one of the most diverse actors of his generation” in a Venice statement, which noted that over three decades Dillon “has showcased his wide range of dramatic and comedic talents.” As standout performances the fest cited Dillon’s breakthrough role in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders” in 1983, his role as a racist cop in Paul Haggis’ “Crash,” and his turn as a private investigator in “There’s Something About Mary,” by Peter and Bobby Farrelly.
Dillon in 2002 debuted as a director with the thriller “City of Ghosts,” in which he also starred with Gerard Depardieu, Stellan Skarsgard, and James Caan. Dillon more recently directed a documentary that is in post about Cuban singer showman Francisco Fellove, known as El Gran Fellove. The doc will premiere in San Sebastian.
The Venice gave no explanation as to why Puiu bowed out of jury duty, saying they thanked the director of “Malmkorg” for having accepted the appointment when it was offered, “and for the sensibility he demonstrated in attempting to honor his commitment, even when unexpected difficulties arose.”
Those difficulties may stem from a rant Puiu made earlier this month during a screening of the 200-minute-long “Malmkorg” at the Transylvania International Film Festival in his native country. “To stay with your mask on while watching a 200-minute film is inhuman,” he said prior to the screening.
“Yes, there is this problem, there is an epidemic, there is a virus, but the tone of the authorities is unacceptable,” Puiu added.
The Venice fest anti-COVID 19 protection measures specifically state that “masks must be worn in all the screening rooms and theaters, both in the queue and when walking to one’s seat, and when seated throughout the entire screening.”
A Venice spokesman said Puiu was unable to attend for reasons they were not at liberty to disclose.
As previously announced, Dillon joins a Venice jury panel presided over by Cate Blanchett. The other Venice competition jury members are Austrian director Veronica Franz, British director Joanna Hogg, German director Christian Petzold, French actress Ludivine Sagnier and Italian writer Nicola Lagioia.
The 77th Venice film festival is set to run as a physical event Sept. 2-12.