The Robert De Niro Acting Class on How Robert Mueller Should Have Testified
Life once again fails to imitate art, as legendary actor Robert De Niro (in an epic essay) respectfully lambasted Robert Mueller’s stilted performance in last week’s congressional hearings. De Niro, who is uniquely qualified to criticize Mueller due to his portrayal on SNL, wrote, “I, more of a method actor, would have channeled my inner rage at the years of Donald Trump’s illegal and immoral acts, and I would have been more in touch with my fury.” He also said his performance would have been more “expansive.”
The actor further disagreed with Mueller’s language, insisting that Trump is more of a “malignant narcissist” than a president and that he “may have dropped an F-bomb or two or eight.” If only Mueller had taken an acting class from De Niro beforehand, the fate of American politics might look different today. In a recent daydream, Mandatory uncovered more of De Niro’s performance tips. Study up below.
Photo: Getty Images
Begin The Proceedings With A Past Life
When the spotlight is on you, every word, every action, is magnified by the power of the audience, the power of the climax. Walk in backwards, ignore the entire room for 10 minutes, then turn suddenly and start dishing out nasty-man barbs to let everyone know how badly they should feel. Own the room from beat one by remembering all the events leading up to this moment.
Circle And Stalk the Congress Members Periodically To Keep Everyone On Edge
You want to be a shark, be a shark. You want to be a wolf, be a wolf. Stalk your prey, make them shift in their seats. Don't conform to their needs. You're not on trial. The whole damn system is on trial.
Pause Midway To Sarcastically Applaud The Corruption On Display
Once you reach the part about Russian interference, change tempos. Stop pacing and start taunting. Mock applaud the state of presidential affairs in America. This will give the audience time to breathe, and maybe add some comic relief.
Improvise At Length
Don't play this scene like a dignified, tight-lipped serviceman, answering prompts in monosyllabic fashion. For a man who spent months investigating Trump and writing a 400-page report about these findings, you should have plenty to say. If you do the work, the character will be your playground. Explore him. Whenever you can't think of something to say, just say, "fuck." A lot.
Hold A Gun To Your Head In Protest
Use theatrics to drive home the point that dirty politics are holding Americans hostage with this deceitful game of Russian roulette. Scorcese loves a gun. Cimino loves a gun. A man and his gun -- it makes the heart race.
Have A Pretend Face-Off With Donald Trump
Now that you have their attention, surprise them. Who expects a segue right in the middle of a monologue? Flying off the rails in a seemingly hysterical dialogue with an imaginary person? It's riveting. It's awkward. And it's the stuff legends are made of. Trust me on this, guy.
Take the Constitution And Stomp It
"This is what Trump is doing to our constitution!" I love that line. Yell it, then stand up from your chair and begin to violently beat a giant replica of the Constitution that two skinny aides wheel in on a cart. That's heroism.
Tell Legislators To 'Make Good Choices' In A Quietly Threatening Tone
Nothing shakes awake a sleeping sphincter like a deadly stare and thinly veiled threat. You want results, impeachment proceedings, whatever. Encourage them. It's all in the eyes.
Smoke A Cigarette After Mic Drop, Be The Satisfied Man
The Mueller hearing is the big orgasm we all need after the terrible foreplay of events leading up to this moment. The rest of it -- the investigation -- was just slow burn. Play the climax as a collective conflagration of catharsis and finish your speech with a bestial moan that will rattle the ceiling lights. Give them a sound they'll never forget. Then be the cool, calm, collected guy they expected from the get-go. In classical music, it's called a cadence.
End The Hearing By Chaining Yourself To The Desk And Being Forcibly Removed
Finally, never stop when the director calls cut. Embody the character 24/7. Scenes? What are scenes? There are no scenes, only life. Live and breathe the character until the deepest depths of that person come splashing out on-screen. Always raise the stakes. Keep your foot on the gas. End the hearing with a memorable finish that will have pundits shitting themselves. This is how you move the goddamn needle.