Sebastian Maniscalco and Robert De Niro – and Sebastian’s real father – came close on ‘About My Father’ |

Sebastian Maniscalco and Robert De Niro - and Sebastian's real father - came close on 'About My Father' |
Dan Anderson/Lionsgate

Much of comedian Sebastian Maniscalco‘s stand-up centers on culture clashes with his Italian immigrant father and the comic and actor’s wealthy in-laws.

It provided good fodder for his new film opening on Friday, About my father. Sebastian plays a guy about to pop the question to his girlfriend, who insists on his eccentric Italian immigrant father (Robert De Niro) accompany him on a vacation to her wealthy family’s summer estate.

Maniscalco and De Niro both appeared together in Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman, but Maniscalco tells ABC Audio that at the time he was too nervous to pitch the acting icon. “For myself and Robert De Niro, we don’t have a friendship where I can call him and say, ‘Hey, I have an idea.’ We should do it.’ It’s just not like that,” he smiled.

“Obviously, after we shot the movie, we were a lot friendlier than we were before we went into this thing,” he admits.

De Niro plays Salvo, named after Maniscalco’s real father, who came to consult with De Niro about playing him. De Niro explains, “Salvo came to visit me in Oklahoma when I was shooting Killers of the Flower Moon…I had questions for him and got to know him a little bit…and…then after that I took him to the set to meet Scorsese because, you know, I thought he might enjoy it.”

The experience went straight to his head, laughs Sebastian to ABC Audio. “I’m sitting here doing interviews with my dad and someone brings him a large Evian water and a double espresso,” he says. “I say, ‘What are you doing?’ I mean…soon he’s going to have his own dressing room and his own tour bus…This guy slid into this world really nicely.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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