You know who’s been funny these last few months? Robert De Niro. Before the election, the serious two-time Oscar-winner went viral with a deeply cathartic video in which he angrily railed against Trump, calling him “stupid,” “a bulls— artist,” “a mutt” and many more. The night before the inauguration, he participated in a Central Park protest, where he read fake Trump tweets. He should do stand-up. We atleast get to see him do that in “The Comedian.” In the new dramedy, he plays Jackie, a former sitcom star who’s fallen on hard times. While doing community service at a soup kitchen (long story), he befriends Leslie Mann’s Harmony, a volatile woman in her own bad patch.
De Niro and Mann spoke to us about the importance of comedy right now, fearing stand-up and dealing with PC culture.
Speaking of comedy, Mr. De Niro, you got a lot of laughs speaking at the anti-Trump protest the other week.
Leslie Mann: I didn’t see that.
Robert De Niro: It was me saying, very simply, “F— you.” [Laughs]
I didn’t check to see if Trump actually sent retaliatory tweets, like he does to people like Meryl Streep who criticize him.
Mann: Such a douchebag.
Comedy is really important now, because it’s therapeutic and a good way of combating Trump’s actions, keeping them in the conversation.
Mann: It’s good to find a funny angle on things, even though things are so awful. You need to find a way to laugh at it. Judd [Apatow, her husband] does that. He does stand-up, and he talks about Trump in a way that says exactly how he feels, but is also really funny. I guess it’s an easier pill to swallow.
De Niro: I agree. What Alec Baldwin does is great. I read a story by this guy Eliot Cohen in the Atlantic. He was an advisor to Condoleeza Rice. He pretty much sums up how outrageous this whole thing is, what this guy has done, how he lies, every offense.