Robert De Niro Discovers Snapchat

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A filter-free Robert De Niro at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 24, 2017
A filter-free Robert De Niro at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 24, 2017. (Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage)

Robert De Niro recently learned how to use Snapchat, and the world became a better place. The Oscar-winning actor, who co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival 15 years ago, got a lesson in the app from filmmaker Alex Berry, a finalist in Tribeca Snapchat Shorts. Clad in a periwinkle blue polo shirt, khaki pants, and a windbreaker, De Niro (or Bob, depending on your relationship) looked every bit the affable grandpa during the tutorial, patient and eager to learn. “So, it goes and then it disappears,” De Niro said, showing that he understood that basic principles of the app. “Even to your friends.”

They first tried out the puppy filter, which suited the star quite nicely. Next up was the voice-changing filter. “Hello? What time is it now?” De Niro asked as an animated walrus hung out at the bottom of the shot, the word “srsly” (well, it’s almost a word) hovering across the screen.


Then came a panda sporting aviator sunglasses, “Taw” emblazoned beneath De Niro’s new (adorable!) face. There was a quick flash to De Niro rocking mirrored shades, a fire burning beneath. There was De Niro as a cow, complete with a red billed cap. And, of course, no Snapchat lesson would be complete without the flower-crown look. “Flawless,” it read beneath the 73-year-old’s beauty shot. “Great,” De Niro quipped as the session came to an end. It’s hard to argue with that.

Up until this moment, the Dirty Grandpa actor hasn’t had a social media presence — unless you count him appearing on Jimmy Fallon’s Mean Tweets Oscar segment, or reading imagined tweets that President Trump could have sent about the star at a recent rally. ICYMI, when De Niro spoke during a protest just before the inauguration, he peppered his commentary on the commander in chief with a few theoretical tweets. “De Niro’s career is a disaster. … Pathetic. De Niro should give back his Oscars. Voting was rigged,” the two-time Oscar winner said. “There’s only one true raging bull and that is Vladimir Putin.”

It seems unlikely that De Niro — who isn’t on Instagram or Twitter — will become an avid Snapchat user, but hey … it doesn’t hurt to dream.


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