Aubrey Plaza ‘freaked out’ Robert De Niro by taking method acting too far on Dirty Grandpa set
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Aubrey Plaza has admitted that she freaked out legendary actor Robert De Niro when she took her method acting 'too far' on the set of Dirty Grandpa.
Whether she's playing April Ludgate in sitcom Parks & Rec or Emily Benetto in crime thriller Emily the Criminal, Plaza tends to play pretty intense characters, and Dirty Grandpa was no exception.
Plaza is a pro, so when she was told she'd be playing a young woman who had the hots for De Niro, she really didn't hold back - but her methods didn't land well with the Taxi Driver star.
Speaking at London Film Festival's ScreenTalk session this week, the actor recalled that one of her agents was told 'Bob's a little freaked out' by Plaza's behaviour on-set.
“I didn’t have time to get to know him, he shows up in a puff of smoke and there’s no chatting at the water cooler,” she explained.
“By the time he’d show up, I’m in character. My character had one goal: to have sex with him. I was acting totally insane as the character because we were about to shoot.
"I don’t think he understood that wasn’t me. You’d think he would because he’s an actor and an amazing one."
She admitted: "At first I think I came on really strong. I did some questionable things I wouldn’t do anymore."
But, it doesn't sound like Plaza's 'insane' behaviour around De Niro came out of nowhere as in an earlier interview, the actor revealed that director Dan Mazer was the one behind the madness.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel back in 2016, Plaza said there was one incident where Mazer asked her to suck on De Niro's nipples, but when he called 'action', and she tried to do the scene, De Niro started 'batting [Plaza] away'.
When the scene ended, Mazer told her: "Bob does not like his nipple area paid attention to. So don’t do that."
She said she remembered thinking at the time: “Great, well now he thinks that I wanted to do that."
Thankfully, it sounds like there were no hard feelings and De Niro took the whole thing like a champ.
In another interview with late night host Seth Meyers, Plaza revealed that she gave the Academy Award winner a raunchy gift that successfully to broke the ice between them.
Explaining that De Niro had bought everyone a gift at the start of shooting, Plaza said that she had decided to give him something in return.
"I didn't know him, we'd never talked, and I was really scared of working with him... but I was like, 'I'm gonna do something really crazy', and I took a real slutty picture of myself in my trailer, in character, and then I printed it out and I put it in a book of zen Buddhism.
"And then I slipped it under his trailer door with a little note that said, 'Happy shooting', or something, and then I waited."
It was a week before Plaza heard anything from De Niro, and she was 'terrified' she had made a serious mistake, but then one day he "just casually came over to me and he was like, 'I got your book...' I put the picture on page four and he was like, 'I only got to page four, but it was very good,' and then he walked away."