James Marsden Wants to See ‘Jury Duty’ Castmate Ronald Gladden Lead a ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ Remake

“I’d love to see him grow a mustache and play the Burt Reynolds role,” the actor says

Ronald Gladden and James Marsden in "Jury Duty" (Credit: Amazon Freevee)

Since “Jury Duty” debuted on Amazon Freevee in April, love has poured in for the hidden camera comedy — in particular for its do-gooder hero Ronald Gladden, who was the only person on the show not to know the whole court case was fake and the jurors were actors. Though Gladden was initially in shock when he learned the truth, he’s since said he would be interested in expanding his on-screen career to other projects — and castmate James Marsden has one in mind for his newfound friend.

“I’d like to see Ronald in a remake of the ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ franchise,” Marsden told TheWrap in a recent interview. “I’d love to see him grow a mustache and play the Burt Reynolds role. I think he’d be good in that.”

Beyond “Smokey and the Bandit,” Marsden mapped out the next steps for Gladden’s hypothetical foray into a Reynolds-esque career, seeing remakes for “The Cannonball Run” and “Deliverance” up next as films that would “really initiate him into the Hollywood world.”

While Marsden joked that Gladden might be receiving a little too much credit — with eager fans hoping to see him next as “The Bachelor” or the next President of the United States — it’s clear the series’ unknowing star made his way into Marsden’s heart, as well. The “27 Dresses” actor called him “the kindest, purest-heart, sweetheart of a guy.”

“[He] laughed off so many of the situations where another person might have just kind of gone off and put their headphones on and not engaged,” Marsden said. “He was kind of this positive glue that kept us all hanging out… He just had a nice, very welcoming spirit to him.”

Marsden became well aware of Gladden’s upstanding character from Day 1 of filming, when the jurors took a lengthy lunch break during jury selection. In an effort to get out of jury duty by showcasing that his presence as a public figure might distract from the trial, Marsden offered to buy everyone lunch from the local taco truck.

“They cut it out of the show, but I actually come back to pick up the bill, and I asked him to split it with me,” Marsden said. “He almost did… I was like, ‘Oh my God, this guy’s an angel.’”