Robert De Niro’s guest performances portraying Robert Mueller on “Saturday Night Live” have landed him an Emmy nomination and now the 75-year-old actor says he would’ve performed the former special counsel’s testimony before Congress last Wednesday very differently.
In an op-ed published Monday in The Washington Post, De Niro wrote that he would’ve engaged his method-acting expertise to channel the former special counsel’s “inner rage at the years of Donald Trump’s illegal and immoral acts,” and probably would’ve dropped a handful more “f-bombs,” had he been the one to give the testimony.
De Niro said that while Mueller’s choice to play his character as “calm, confident and dignified” was probably a good thing, those were not qualities that would win him an Oscar.
“Some differences in our approach to playing Mueller are so subtle that the casual viewer would hardly notice,” De Niro wrote. “For example, where Mueller’s Mueller might refer to Trump as ‘president,’ I might use the equally descriptive and familiar ‘malignant narcissist.’”
“We weren’t trying to entertain the American people. We wanted to educate and inform the American people,” Jeffries said in the interview. “We didn’t invite Robert De Niro to testify; we invited Robert Mueller.”
“Really, Chairman Jeffries? For the last year, I’ve had more experience playing Mueller publicly than Mueller has,” De Niro wrote. “…I like to think he would have been amused that his ‘Saturday Night Live’ doppelgänger was adding to the chorus telling him what to do.”
Jeffries responded on Twitter by thanking De Niro for his “authentic advocacy”:
Dear Mr. De Niro: Excellent Op-Ed in @WashingtonPost.Thx for your authentic advocacy.The HEAT you bring against the wannabe GOODFELLA in the Oval Office is much needed.And for the record, you’re a Jeffries family favorite.Best, Hakeem ✊🏾✊🏾 https://t.co/Z8o8q1ytB2
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) July 29, 2019
After joking about his portrayal of Mueller, De Niro explained that he didn’t believe a public servant should have to “perform” to command the nation’s attention, and called on Democrats to continue pursuing impeachment.