John Turturro on the moral complexity of ‘The Night Of’: ‘It’s all about the grey area’ [WATCH]

HBO’s morally and culturally complex limited series “The Night Of” premiered last summer with its detailed portrait of New York City’s criminal justice system at work — and sometimes not working as well as it should. We talked to John Turturro last fall about his role as down-on-his-luck defense attorney John Stone, and he said, “That’s what life is: all these details. It’s all about the grey area. It’s not about the black and white … There are people who I talked to who have been on cases for 10 years or longer, and they never solved them — it still bothers them, and they still live with that.” Watch our complete video chat above.

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John Stone comes to the defense of Naz (Riz Ahmed), a Pakistani-American college student accused of a brutal murder. The series doesn’t shy away from the difficult racial politics involved in the story, which resonated during 2016’s divisive presidential election campaign and still does now in 2017. “It’s endlessly fascinating,” Turturro told us. “It’s also about money, it’s about race, it’s about all these things that have been pervading our election in some ways. I thought that the handling of that was done with nuance, humor and intelligence.”

“The Night Of” was acclaimed by critics, and it has already made an impression on awards voters, earning three Golden Globe nominations, including Best TV Movie/Limited Series and acting bids for Ahmed and Turturro. Both leading men also contended at the SAG Awards. Now they enter the Emmy race, where Ahmed would be a first-timer but Turturro is already a past winner: he prevailed as Best Comedy Guest Actor in 2004 for appearing in the detective dramedy “Monk” as the title character’s brother.

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