Aubrey Plaza Reveals How She Freaked Out Robert De Niro

Aubrey Plaza revealed she went method actor during Dirty Grandpa, which freaked out Robert De Niro.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

The first time Aubrey Plaza met Robert De Niro; she wasn’t herself. The method actress recently appeared in a London Film Festival ScreenTalk session to promote her movie Emily the Criminal and talked about filming Dirty Grandpa with the famous actor, according to Movieweb. Committed to her role during the first time she met De Niro, she was a bit too much into her character, whose main goal was to sleep with De Niro’s character.

The first time Aubrey Plaza met Robert De Niro, she was already in character as Lenore, having not had time to meet him prior to filming. She recalls, “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.”

robert de niro

She later heard from one of her agents that “Bob’s a little freaked out.” Fortunately, the two got to know one another in person when De Niro held a lunch at his home for the entire production. Once he got to know Aubrey Plaza rather than Lenore, their relationship improved, and they got along.

Dirty Grandpa stars Zac Efron as young attorney Jason and Robert De Niro as his grandfather Dick, who go on a road trip to Florida together the week before the young man is supposed to be married. Along the way, they meet up with an old classmate of Jason’s named Shadia, and her two friends, Bradley and Lenore. Lenore has one goal in mind, and that is to have sex with a college professor, which she thinks Dick is.

Aubrey Plaza is currently working with another classic actor, Danny DeVito, as the voice of witchy mom Laura on Little Demon, as well as Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola in the upcoming Megalopolis. Known for deadpan sarcasm, she became known from the show Parks and Recreation as well as commercials for World of Warcraft in which she dumps an off-screen boyfriend after becoming more interested in the game. She will also star in season two of White Lotus.

In her current film, Emily the Criminal, she plays an art student who turns to crime to pay her debt. The movie was released on August 12, 2022, to generally positive acclaim that lauds Aubrey Plaza’s performance and handling of social issues such as student debt and the economic effects of a criminal past. Co-stars include Theo Rossi and Gina Gershon.

However, Aubrey Plaza does not want to limit herself to just acting and talked in the interview about future plans to produce and direct. She has already produced two movies, The Little Hours and Ingrid Goes West. She was so enthusiastic to be a part of the latter that she approached the director, Matt Spicer, to be involved in the project.

As far as potentially directing, she admitted she has been asked to do some projects but would prefer to lead a production she wrote herself. For now, she takes a sense of pride and strength in her acclaimed acting and producing credits, being especially proud of being able to contribute to working behind the scenes. The busy actress is working hard right now and can be seen by renting or purchasing Emily the Criminal online, or by tuning into Hulu to hear her on Little Demon.