Sebastian Maniscalco and Robert De Niro — and Sebastian’s real dad — got close on ‘About My Father’

Dan Anderson/Lionsgate

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

That made for good grist for his new movie opening Friday, About My Father. Sebastian plays a guy about to pop the question to his girlfriend, who insists his eccentric Italian immigrant dad (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 he was too nervous to pitch the acting icon then. "For myself and Robert De Niro, we don't have like a friendship where I could call him and say, 'Hey, I got an idea. We should do it.' It's just not how it is," he smiled.

"Of course, after we filmed the movie, we were a lot more friendly than we were prior to going into this thing," he allows.

De Niro plays Salvo, named after Maniscalco's real dad, who got 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 that." 

The experience went right to his head, Sebastian laughs to ABC Audio. "I'm sitting here doing interviews with my dad and someone brings him in a large Evian water and a double espresso," he says. "I go, 'What are you doing?' I mean...pretty soon he's going to have his own dressing room and his own tour bus....This guy really slipped into this world nice."

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