Classic 80s Tom Hanks Film 'Big' Headed For The Small Screen

Robert De Niro Fell Asleep During A Scene From 'New Year's Eve'

Fred Topel Fred Topel
December 8th, 2011 11:10am EST
Swank,_Hilary

Spoiler alert: This story reveals some of the surprises of the film. Wait until after you’ve seen New Year’s Eve to read this unless you want to know some of the surprises.

When you get two Academy Award winners in a scene together, you expect sparks to fly, right? New Year’s Eve features an all star cast with more than two Oscar winners. But two time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank and two time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro share scenes in the film.

“I got to work with Robert De Niro and, for me, he’s on my bucket list,” Swank said. “He was on the top of the people I have to work with, before it’s all said and done, so I got to check that off.”

The scene they have to do together is one of the more dramatic moments in the comedy, in a hospital room.

“I walk in and Robert’s in the bed and he’s laying there. I hear he’s method. You hear all this stuff about Robert DeNiro, and he’s method. This is a comedy, but he’s dying. I don’t want to get in anyone’s way. So, he’s laying there and he’s like this and he kinda sees me. He goes [shutting his eye, twitching.] He kinda shuts his eyes, and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, he’s giving it to me. We’re connected here. We are connected. Me and DeNiro are method.’ I started getting a little emotional. The camera was not on me, but we were just getting into the mood, of the father-daughter relationship. I’m feeling it, and I’m going deep with DeNiro.”

It turns out, the scene wasn’t quite as deep as Swank thought. “The next thing I know, he’s just really [jolts awake] like, ‘Anyone got that coffee?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, my god, he was sleeping!’ I thought he was going deep for me. The truth is, he’d been in that bed all day and he took a nap. Look, if I was sleeping all day I’d take a nap too, but I’m thinking ‘Yeahhh!’ So, that was that, but getting the opportunity to work with him was an absolute highlight for me.”

New Year’s Eve opens Friday.

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Photo Credits: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.