Jennifer Aniston to star with Robert DeNiro in his passion project, ‘The Comedian’

Here are some photos from the Celebrity Charades Goes Medieval Gala, to benefit the Labyrinth Theater Company. This is actually the first-ever second red carpet event for Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston since their August wedding. I kind of like that. They didn’t walk the carpet together for one of her premieres, and they didn’t do it for anything she’s involved with – the Labyrinth Theater Company is something Justin has been involved with, and it’s associated with their friend, the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman. They look nice and low-key together.

Justin is sort of enjoying a career renaissance these days. The Leftovers Season 2 is getting more critical acclaim than the first season, and Justin has scored a juicy role in The Girl on the Train. But what of Jennifer Aniston? Well, over the past month or so, she’s been quietly lining up some interesting roles. And now this:

Jennifer Aniston will star alongside Robert De Niro in The Comedian, the Art Linson-scripted drama directed by Taylor Hackford that has been a De Niro passion project for years. The film will shoot early next year in New York. Linson and John Linson will produce the film along with Cinelou’s Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon. Cinelou, which funded the Aniston starrer Cake, is financing the picture.

De Niro plays a toxic insult comic on the order of a Don Rickles (with whom De Niro starred in Casino). Aniston meets him at a wedding, and they develop a close relationship. It will be De Niro’s second time behind the stand-up microphone, after playing the iconic stalker/aspiring comedian Rupert Pupkin in The King Of Comedy. The project has been one both De Niro and Linson have been trying to pull together for years, with stand-up material written by Friars Club and Comedy Central roasts staple Jeffrey Ross. Linson wrote the Hollywood-centric pic What Just Happened?, which starred De Niro as a harried producer, and he produced the De Niro pics Heat, The Untouchables and This Boy’s Life.

[From Deadline]

This sounds… odd. Like, this is a strange “passion project” for DeNiro and it’s a weird choice for Jennifer Aniston too. I suspect that Aniston got cast in this because DeNiro is getting the financing from Cinelou, the production house that brought us Aniston’s Cake and subsequent failed Oscar hustle. As in, DeNiro was told “we’ll finance your passion project, but only if you hire Jennifer Aniston.” What confuses me is that I have no idea who Aniston is playing in relation to DeNiro’s comedian character. Is she the love interest? Because no one will buy that. Is she a fellow stand-up comedian? Because no one will buy that either.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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74 Responses to “Jennifer Aniston to star with Robert DeNiro in his passion project, ‘The Comedian’”

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  1. V4Real says:

    Of DenNiro why, just why. Another comedy for Aniston and she’s not that funny.

    • roses says:

      Think its more of a dramedy. With it being a Deniro passion project maybe it will be good, he’s been trying to get it made for years just hope Cinelou was a good call for him to get this done.

      • tracking says:

        She’s good in dramedies. With the depressing subject matter, I waited a long time until I saw Cake. She was excellent in it. De Niro has done so much schmaltzy stuff lately. If he has an edge, a return to form, and they have chemistry, this project has potential.

      • Greata says:

        @Bess…Best summary ever!

      • Saks says:

        @tracking, I agree she is good in dramedies, I think she was really good in “the good girl”.

    • epiphany says:

      You have to give her credit. This is what she’s wanted her entire adult life, to be not only to be famous, but an actress working with the crème de la crème of Hollywood. Her acting talent and comedic timing are debatable, but no one can deny her ambition.

    • not cynical says:

      Poor DeNiro, his passion project must have been rejected by every single studio in Hollywood. I hate that for him.
      And you know if Cinelou is involved, Aniston HAS to be involved. She obviously has invested in Cinelou under the condition she is allowed to be in any film she chooses.

      Once again, poor Bobby D, what a downgrade for him.

  2. Nancy says:

    For as many disparaging things that some say about Jen on this site, they keep hiring her. She has great comedic timing. As she gets older, I imagine these roles will keep coming to her. I hope it’s a success, as I like her and love young, middle aged and older DeNiro. If anyone likes rom-coms, watch Falling in Love with him and Meryl Streep. That was one of my favs…although Godfather, Raging Bull, Untouchables and on and on will always be on top. He is one of a kind to me.

  3. Jenni says:

    They are so cute together.

    • Bess says:

      I see no cuteness. But she actually seems content finally. At peace.

      Oddly enough her new husband probably has less to do with it than her getting a role in anything that has DeNiro attached. We’ll ignore that DeNiro has been making shite within the last 5-7 and that she’s following in the footsteps of Katherine Heigl, and Jessica Biel.

      Just the association probably makes her feel like she’s on the right track even if her prod company had to shoe horn her in.

    • Nancy says:

      They are! She found her lobster…..

  4. Chinoiserie says:

    I think Aniston could pull of stand-up comedian, she has a great comedic timing. But I doupt that is the role, hopefully not a love interest but I think that is unlikely. Kristen Wiig was considered for this role too at one point if I remember correctly btw.

    • Bess says:

      Ugh. That’s sobering. Aniston is no replacement for Wiig. Wonder why Wiig backed out? Maybe the role wasn’t/isn’t integral to the film, and it’s centered on the male lead.

      That’s definitely more Aniston’s speed. Wiig is the star in her films.

      By the way, recently caught The Skeleton Twins with she and Bill Hader. It was amazing. I highly recommend.

      • Nancy says:

        Bess go see Martian and see how you feel about Wiig’s acting skills. To me she’s more skit comedy….her best was SNL and possibly Bridesmaids although she did a little overkill on that. I guess it’s whatever or whoever you like.

      • Nancy says:

        Bess go see Martian and see how you feel about Wiig’s acting skills. To me she’s more skit comedy….her best was SNL and possibly Bridesmaids although she did a little overkill on that. I guess it’s whatever or whoever you like.

    • Liz says:

      @Nancy have you seen the skeleton twins? Wiig was fantastic in a more dramatic role.

  5. Liz says:

    Kristen Wiig was attached to the film previously so I’m guessing that’s the character the Aniston will be playing. It does make sense that she’s been cast if Cinelou are financing the film.

  6. mia girl says:

    mimif, tracking, AntiSocialButterfly, Falula, Lahdidahbaby and any other CBers watching The Leftovers:
    OMG Sunday’s episode!!!!!! 😱😱😱

    PS Kitten did you catch up yet?

    • tracking says:

      OMG indeed! Shocking! I don’t want to give anything away, but crazy unexpected, now on tenterhooks until the next episode. On a minor note, boo on a Regina King- and Carrie Coon-less episode. And boo on Laurie, who bugs me (so emotionless).

      • Ally.M says:

        Absolutely shocking. When I saw that picture above all I could think about is what happened in the last episode of the Leftovers. I’m enjoying Season 2 much more than the first Season.

    • mia girl says:

      tracking – You know what I love about Laurie or more so about Amy Brenneman herself? No apparent botox/work/fillers! Her forehead actually creases in the way it should! And I hated her character last season so much, but I think she’s pretty good this season.

      I did miss King and Coon this episode, but I’ve got to say, Theroux is killing it this season with his performance so he filled the void. He’s really good.

      • tracking says:

        mia girl, I agree Amy Brenneman looks gorgeous and natural. I suppose Laurie’s meant to be the calm, rational one (in psychoanalyst mode) but I just find her passionless compared to most of the other characters. I enjoyed Theroux in other things–Parks and Rec, Six Feet Under–but didn’t know he had this part in him. So good.

      • doofus says:

        tracking, re: Theroux’s acting chops…have you read the Girl on the Train? you think he can pull off the role of Tom?

        just finished the book and really enjoyed it and am hoping the movie is done well and stays true to the book story (other than changing location…).

      • tracking says:

        doofus, now that I’ve seen him on the Leftovers, yes. The characters have a similar ambivalence; now I do think he has the chops to play Tom. And Luke Evans has been cast as “Megan”‘s husband. Good choices imo.

      • doofus says:

        I asked because I’ve only seen him in a few roles. he was good, but they’re smaller roles and I figure “Tom” will be a pretty meaty role. thanks!

    • Becks says:

      OMG that episode was shocking! I can’t believe that happened!
      I love this season so much and I think Justin is excellent. I can’t wait until Sunday, what’s going to happen?

      • mia girl says:

        I’m guessing this Sunday’s episode may not even deal with how this week’s episode ended for Kevin. Like we may just get what is happening in the other storylines.

        I liked last season, but am loving this one. I think moving the story out of Mappleton was a great idea.

    • GiGi says:

      My People! Seriously – no one I know is watching and I’m dying inside. There is SO MUCH to talk about! I wish CB would just put an open post every Monday 🙂

      • mia girl says:

        GiGi!! I forgot to include you in my “known list” of CB viewers! The last 10 minutes of the episode slayed me. My husband and my theories seem to be in line with many I’ve seen. But even with some idea of what might happen I still have so many questions!

        Not sure if you know but Pajiba and the A.V. Club. post regularly on The Leftovers. Lot’s of great comments from other viewers. The NYTimes has a weekly episode recap as well. Here is this week’s (spoilers for those who have not seen episode):

      • tracking says:

        GiGi, noone I know is watching either. Argh!

      • Olenna says:

        I love this show. The casting is excellent and Theroux is surprisingly good. I’m tired of searching around for Leftover recaps and comments on other sites, so I’m casting my vote for weekly CB coverage, too!

    • JustPassingThrough says:

      My mouth was hanging wide open at the end of that scene…..I can’t wait to see what happens next. He is unquestionably an excellent actor, no denying.

      I enjoyed last season, but this season is killing it! (no pun intended) 😉

      Question, though……the previews said only 3 more episodes….is that for the season or the series, does anyone know?

      • tracking says:

        Season. No word on series renewal, hard to say since this season is much more successful with critics but not strong in ratings. Fingers crossed, given how excellent it is now!

      • mia girl says:

        I’m hoping too. Lindeloff has talked about the series in terms of a 3rd season, but nothing yet from HBO. This season’s ratings are similar to Girls, and HBO did renew that, but you never know.

      • JustPassingThrough says:

        Fingers crossed! 🙂

  7. Rainbow says:

    I like them together. His hat is silly though.

    • Pandy says:

      Too early to be snarky, but I can’t resist. Wonder if he didn’t spray his bald spot, so wearing the hat?

    • Holmes says:

      His whole outfit is silly. He looks like an accessories closet exploded on him. What is he trying to achieve?

      • Belle Epoch says:

        Thank goodness somebody said something! He looks RIDICULOUS. He seems completely fabricated, like a Style Frankenstein. He must be getting fashion tips from both Terry Richardson and JA.

        It’s odd to think he may be more authentic when he’s acting.

  8. Catelina says:

    Well, I’m definitely skeptical of the director. Good for her though if she made some sort of deal with Cinelou and that’s how she got this. It shows that she really does have some interest in stretching herself and isn’t just waiting for the role to fall into her lap, which is what has annoyed me about her all along.

    • Emma - The JP Lover says:

      @Catelina, who wrote: “Good for her though if she made some sort of deal with Cinelou and that’s how she got this.”

      Jennifer Aniston ‘is’ Cinelou.

  9. The Original G says:

    Well, good for her for putting some money into a project for herself. This won’t be a wide market release film either, but I’m interested in seeing where DiNiro takes this character.

  10. Jayna says:

    Cute photo.

  11. Rhiley says:

    I think Aniston is a very good comedic actress especially when she isn’t trying too hard. But if her character is a little rough around the edges, I could buy that too. If they were going to make a moving about a Paula Poundstone type character, I think JA would be a good choice.

  12. Sienna says:

    Someone mentioned on Deadline that Cinelou is co owned by Jennifer – that explains why she got this role.

    No other production companies especially the big ones are hiring her. Her 4 straight flops could be the reason…

    • epiphany says:

      That’s right! It was widely reported she used her own money to promote ‘Cake’, but I forgot that she actually purchased a portion of Cinelou to make the project even possible. Well, that explains a lot. Wonder what De Niro thinks of his new leading lady. Think he even had a choice?

    • Jenna says:

      She was trashed for years for making crappy romantic comedies, justifiably in most cases, but setting up her own projects that portray her in a different light… also… warrants trashing?

      She can’t really win either way, can she?

      • epiphany says:

        I don’t think anyone is criticizing her for trying to take on more challenging roles. The point is, she has to buy her way into these roles. You don’t see actresses such as Streep or Blanchett having to do that. They acquire roles based on their talent. Jen, like most folks in show business, has self esteem issues; her method of dealing with those issues has always been to become as famous as she can possibly be. Whatever else has motivated her to do anything else in her life has been secondary to that. Happily for her, she has found a partner who shares her ambition. Lainey Gossip refers to her current marriage was “a match made in PR heaven.”

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree Jenna.
        I don’t think she’s an amazing actress (comparing her with Streep and Blanchett is pointless) but she’s alright and has a steady career, with some studio films and now some indies. Some people complained she wasn’t working after Cake’s promotion. Now she’s got a bunch of stuff lined up and people are picking at that. People complained she wasn’t producing or working to get stuff made for herself, and now she is and it’s called buying roles. What exactly do people want her to do?

      • Alice too says:

        I say “Good for her”. Nothing wrong with being proactive. Using her money to do things she wants to do… what else is it here for? Good for her!

    • GoOnGirl says:

      Bess I don’t know who you are, but your comments on “the lovely Jennifer Aniston” are spot on. Keep up the good work and continue to tell it like it is. Has anyone asked Jen how Heidi is lately?

    • iheartgossip says:

      Spot on!

  13. mer says:

    I would imagine that Robert De Niro can work with whomever he wants. And Jennifer Aniston does have great comedic timing which really has not been seen in awhile almost since Friends. The comedies she has done have not been on par, writing or story-wise, as Friends. It is hard to imagine the two of them acting together but I hope he brings out her best. I think she is a good actor but got a little lax in her choices after sudden, huge fame.

  14. Desertrose says:

    I just love these two together. They look completely comfortable with both themselves and each other.

    • Sienna says:

      Nope – he looks pretentious while she looks like she is gripping him tightly.

      This couple never looks genuinely happy and content with each other – always looks fake, rehearsed and not genuine.

      Doesn’t mean that they aren’t in love and happy but their body language says that they are platonic friends.

  15. Sansa says:

    Robert DeNiro cant’t fund his own passion project but Jennifer can? Best post today. Must be a real mess.

    • extracookie says:

      Thank you. I doubt Robert De Niro needs to be blackmailed into anything. It’s Robert DeNiro. Shitty movies or not. He’s still one of the biggest actors out there. JenAn is a great comedic actress, that’s just it. I’m looking forward to seeing these two together.

  16. lucy2 says:

    I find it really odd that Deniro has been trying to get this going for years but couldn’t until now – he has his own production company that’s been making movies since the early 90s, and if it’s a “passion project”, why didn’t he finance it himself through his company?

    • Louise says:

      I think lots of actors don’t want to sink their own money into their so-called ‘passion projects’, so that’s understandable. Why would you, when someone else will fork over the cash?

      Do I think he’s only agreed to co-star with Aniston because it was some sort of package deal Cinelou forced on him? Nope. He’s stared with far less talented actresses and lived to act another day.

      But as someone said upthread, she’s damned either way.

      She should stop doing garbage rom coms, they say, and yet when she does become proactive, she’s buying roles/co-stars.

      She should date someone less famous they say, stop looking for Brad 2.0. She marries Justin and he’s just using her for fame/money.

      Apparently the only reason she was nominated for a SAG, Golden Globe, etc. last year was because of her PR guru. The only reason her movies make money is because of her co-stars. The only reason she’s famous is because of her ex husband.

      She really can’t win for losing with some people. I think things are going really well for her, and that narrative doesn’t sit well with certain posters, for some reason.

  17. Elle says:

    I love this photo!

  18. iheartgossip says:

    Another comedy for Aniston? She’s not that funny, it’s always another version of Rachel Green. Stop.

  19. LUCY says:

    +1 bravo, great post Louise.

  20. sandy says:

    You know, I have tried to watch her movies, granted I have never, paid for a movie ticket, they show her latest movies on television each weekend……it’s so sad how awful they and she is, in each one, I keep trying , im sorry she is just not an actress, I don’t care how often she gets cast. But since I don’t go to see her movies, it doesn’t bother me.

  21. MND says:

    “Is she the love interest? Because no one will buy that.”

    True. She’s 46 and he’s 72. So as this is Hollywood we’re talking about she’s probably playing his mother.