Ben Stiller and David O. Russell Share Intense 'Raging Bull' Tales at Tribeca

Tribeca Celebrates De Niro with Dedicated 'De Niro Con' Event.

by Nouman Rasool
Ben Stiller and David O. Russell Share Intense 'Raging Bull' Tales at Tribeca
© Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Last week at the Tribeca Film Festival, a one-of-a-kind celebration for the festival's co-founder and two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro, titled "De Niro Con," took place. The event was built around a screening of "Silver Linings Playbook." The film's director, David O.

Russell, was on hand, along with actor Ben Stiller, and happily shared his boisterous experiences of working with De Niro. The night centred around discussing the intense emotional demands of crucial scenes in "Silver Linings Playbook." One such moment discussed was a heated exchange between Jennifer Lawrence's character, Tiffany Maxwell, and De Niro's Pat Sr.

Russell vividly recalled how De Niro, embodying his character's fiery temperament, heightened the scene's emotional stakes. "I'll never forget the day when Jennifer and Bob were in the thick of it, with Bradley Cooper caught in the middle.

It was crucial, and Bob brought such an intensity that it scared me when he walked onto the set late and just exploded into the scene," Russell shared.

Stiller's De Niro Moment

Stiller reminisced about his encounters with De Niro, describing an unforgettable first interaction during the filming of "Meet the Parents." Stiller recounted, "The first scene I ever shot with him, I was so nervous.

And then he threw one of his classic 'De Niro-isms' at me, and I couldn't help but burst out laughing—probably the worst thing you could do, but that's the effect he has." The 2012 film, "Silver Linings Playbook," took Lawrence her first Oscar, besides several other nominations, including for the Best Picture category.

Adapted from Matthew Quick's novel, given to Russell by the late Sydney Pollack, the film perfectly balances comedy and drama. The film tells the story of Pat Solatano, played by Cooper, who tries to win back his estranged wife after he is released from an eight-month-long stay in a mental institution.

De Niro and Jacki Weaver play his supportive yet concerned parents. It's through his unexpected partnership with Tiffany that Pat sees a chance to rebuild his life. Russell praised De Niro's commitment to authenticity, noting his meticulous approach to the script and his insistence on rehearsals that fostered a genuine on-screen chemistry.

"Bob was insistent on reviewing every line; he wanted us to strip away any pretense and focus on being utterly real," Russell explained. The session at Tribeca not only celebrated De Niro's legendary career but also offered an insider's look at the making of a film that resonates with audiences for its raw depiction of struggle and resilience.