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Comedians and actors came together for the premiere of Taylor Hackford’s film The Comedian at Pacific Design Center’s Silver Screen Theatre in Los Angeles.
The buzz around the red carpet Friday evening was how the life of a comedian is incredibly challenging, but that those challenges and setbacks should not discourage those pursuing it. Similar to Robert De Niro’s character’s (Jackie Burke) attempts toward reinvention, De Niro shared his advice to aspiring comedians.
“Just keep at it and keep plugging away. Work hard and don’t give up,” the film’s lead told The Hollywood Reporter.
Colleague and longtime comedian Jimmie Walker, who was asked to join the film to portray himself, shared a very different perspective than De Niro’s on the success of a comedian.
“You need a couple of things in this business. You need luck, you need to be at the right place at the right time, you need a good organization, and you need a lot of friends like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle because friends will help,” said the comic. “Notice I didn’t say nothing about talent. As long as you have those four things, you don’t need talent.”
The film’s director Taylor Hackford went beyond the comedic aspect of the film and dug deeper into the dynamic between De Niro’s and co-star Leslie Mann’s characters.
“Leslie just went for it. We all know her as a great comedian, but this is a dramatic role and she’s going to surprise a lot of people,” said Hackford.
Comedian Jeff Ross, who co-wrote the film, explained that with the recent changes in both domestic and foreign policies, society as a whole needs more comedy.
“The world, the news and the people are evolving. If we don’t laugh, we cry,” he said. “It’s such a chaotic time and the future is so unknown that I think being around funny people and being creative is important. Comedy is the new resistance,” Ross said. “I want people to understand that we’re not just funny faces and punch lines, but that there’s a beating heart inside all these comedians.”
The Comedian hits theaters nationwide February 3.
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