Yes, believe it or not: Robert DeNiro, age 69, is training for a boxing match with Sylvester Stallone, age 66. It will be “Raging Bull” vs. Rocky when the two actors each won Oscars years ago for playing famous or fictitious boxers meet and sock it out for the first and only time. This is all for a movie called “Grudge Match,” directer by Peter Segal and just about to shoot. And yes, it’s a real boxing match and DeNiro has been training like crazy while shooting “Last Vegas”–which just wrapped– and promoting his Oscar-bound supporting role in “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Last night DeNiro and “SLP” director David Russell were toasted at a final pre-Christmas celebration at the very posh Le Cirque restaurant in the Bloomberg building following a Q&A for the Screen Actors Guild. DeNiro told me he’s been working with a trainer– he does look very fit–and he’s excited about working with Stallone.
Meantime, the guests at the party ranged from Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”) to Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliott”) who had never met before and were thrilled to to be introduced. DeNiro had a reunion with famed character actress Rutanya Alda, who appeared with him years ago in his first two films. Bob Balaban, Robert Wuhl, Bob Dishy, John Gabriel, Giancarlo Esposito, filmmaker Barbara Kopple, and playwright Israel Horovitz were among the guests at the party hosted by Dr, Mehmet Oz– Dr Oz himself, featured this month on the cover of Oprah’s O Magazine– the first time ever a man has graced the cover with Oprah.
DeNiro was so excited to have his picture taken with Le Cirque’s legendary Sirio Maccione he emailed it directly to wife Grace Hightower, who was home with their son, Elliott, from his phone.
He was also excited because he’s received his first ever Screen Actors Guild SAG nomination for acting with “SLP.”