Sebastian Maniscalco Was Petrified Working with De Niro and Pesci on The Irishman

Sebastian Maniscalco Was Petrified Working with De Niro and Pesci on The Irishman


-Welcome back. -Thank you for having me back.
-This is very exciting. People have already said
this film is fantastic, and we really saw what you were
stepping into there in that clip because there you are
with Pesci, there you are with De Niro. It’s Martin Scorsese directing. How did that feel? -So, petrified.
-Yeah. [ Laughter ]
-I was — You know, I don’t do
a lot of acting, so when I got on set,
people are, like, “Oh, are you making jokes
since you were the comedian?” I go, “No, I didn’t speak
unless spoken to.” [ Laughter ]
-Right. -So, yeah.
It was a scary experience, but every time Scorsese
would yell cut, Pesci, De Niro, and Scorsese would get in a small huddle
and start talking. So, I’m sitting there,
and I’m like, “Should I be in that huddle?” [ Laughter ] Or are they talking about me?
“What’s he doing?” So, it was a great experience, and I had a great time
doing that. -You play a very —
It seems, like, you know, just from the clip,
I’m judging here, a lot less humor than we are
used to of you on stage. You’re play a guy
named Joe Gallo. This is a real guy.
-Yeah. -This is a hit man.
This is a bad guy. Did you know anything about him
going into it? -Yeah. And looking at the
performance, Oscar-worthy. -Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] -Boy, that’s sarcasm. [ Laughter ] Yeah, he’s a stone-cold killer.
He was a very cocky guy. Kind of operated
outside mob rules, and, yeah, a serious role. I thought it was
a good challenge for me to get outside my comfort zone
of doing stand-up and take on something like this,
and I was proud of it. -Yeah, and, you know,
it’s amazing — you think of the size rooms
you play with stand-up, some of biggest rooms
you can imagine, and I think, to a lot of people,
that seemed to be the most terrifying thing,
but it must actually — You know,
if that’s your experience, to be in a small group
of people, filming a movie, where it’s about, you know,
being really precise, that must be terrifying. But one thing that must’ve
made it easier was, you know, Martin Scorsese did cast you. So, here’s this guy with this
great eye for talent. What was the first meeting
with him like? -So, they tell me —
obviously, I’m wearing a wig. -Yeah.
In the film, yeah. -In the film.
Sideburns, the whole thing. -But it looks like your hair, which is part of
the Oscar-winning performance. [ Laughter ]
-Absolutely. So, they’re like,
“Listen, Scorsese wants to take a look at you
and your wig. We’re just gonna
bring you on set. He’s going to say yes or no.”
I said, “Okay.” So, I’m just hanging out, but I
got brought into an office, and there’s Scorsese,
and he shuts the door, and he’s like, “I’m sorry.
Sorry I kept you waiting.” I go, “Kept me?
I would’ve waited for three weeks to talk to you.”
[ Laughter ] So, I walk in, and he starts
talking about old movies, and this guy’s really
knowledgeable about movies, foreign film.
I don’t know nothing. [ Laughter ] So, I’m trying to figure out,
in my head — You know when somebody’s
talking to you, but in your head you’re, like, “How do I get out of this
and maybe get it…?” -Yeah, yeah, yeah. -I wasn’t even listening
to what he was saying. I’m like,
“How do I jump off this and get into something that we
have something in common with?” So, I start talking about kids.
He’s got kids. We’re in there
for about a half an hour. I walked out,
and the wig people are like, “What’d he say about the wig?” [ Laughter ]
I go, “Nothing. We were talking
about movies and kids. I think
he thought it was my hair.” -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -So, it was
a great first meeting. -You passed the wig test.
-I passed the wig test! -There you go! -So, it was really,
really great. And then, the first day, we’re
doing that scene that you saw, which was actually
the Gotham Comedy Club which they converted
into the Copa. So, the Gotham Comedy Club
is the first comedy club I’ve ever performed at
in New York City. -Oh, what a trip. -And now I’m doing
a movie in there. So, it was — it was great. I still can’t believe —
When I watched it, I’m like, “I can’t believe
I was in that movie.” -It’s fantastic.
I’m really — It’s quite an accomplishment.