In About My Father, Sebastian brings his Italian immigrant father, Salvo, to spend the weekend with his girlfriend Ellie’s family. Salvo is quick to judge the wealthy family and embarrass Sebastian as they deal with cultural clashes and hilarious misunderstandings. However, in time, the two families become one unified family by the end of their weekend together.


About My Father is inspired by Sebastian Maniscalco’s real relationship with his father, Salvo. About My Father is directed by Laura Terruso and co-written by Maniscalco, who also stars in the movie, and Austen Earl. About My Father also stars Robert De Niro, Lelie Bibb, Anders Holm, David Rasche, Kim Cattrall, and Brett Dier.

Related: Titanic: The Character Robert De Niro Almost Played (& Why He Didn’t)

Screen Rant spoke with Sebastian Maniscalco and Robert De Niro about their new movie, About My Father. De Niro discussed working with the real Salvo, Maniscalco, and director Laura Terruso. Maniscalco shared his pinch-me moment while working with De Niro and how his family influences his approach to comedy.

Sebastian Maniscalco & Robert De Niro on About My Father

About My Father Sebastian Maniscalco & Robert De Niro

Screen Rant: This is the reason I go to the movies is to feel. I immediately called my father after this movie, and we had such a great conversation about him being my hero. But this isn’t just a great father-son story; it’s a great movie about family. Sebastian, how does family influence your sense of humor and your approach to comedy?

Sebastian Maniscalco: Family has always been a great source of material for me. I kind of speak to what I know. The more I talk to my father, the more material I get. Every day it’s something new with this guy. So for me, we have a very funny family: my mother and my sister. We all laugh when we get together, so it’s not foreign to me at all to poke fun at one another in a nice way and laugh about it. I have to be making a living doing it, so it’s great.

Mr. De Niro, you were fantastic as Salvo. I know that you spent some time with Salvo. Can you talk to me about that experience? Did that help you get a different understanding of Sebastian a little bit?

Robert De Niro: No, I understood anyway. I had another impression of Salvo before I met him. And I met him, and also he’s being different with me. He’s not behaving with me the way he does with his son, but I could see that’s what was interesting about meeting him. He was a regular guy. We hung out a little bit, and he came down to Oklahoma, where I was shooting Killers of the Flower Moon.

It verified what I already thought, but seeing him in that way was also interesting because it wasn’t how he was with his son. I was getting that from Sebastian. So, I’d ask him questions: “There’s this or that. Would you say this? Or how about that? What do you feel about the scene?” And maybe he’d have an even more specific take on it, or something or another way, and stuff like that. He was great.

Sebastian, this is really a love letter to your father. And I know they recreated the salon that he worked at in Mobile, Alabama. Robert De Niro’s playing your father. When does that pinch-me moment sink in for you and the real Salvo?

Sebastian Maniscalco: As I was watching my father teach Bob how to dye hair, because the salon is very similar to the first salon my father had; it’s called Stagedoor. And I was sitting there watching this, going, “Oh, my God, I can’t believe my dad is teaching Robert De Niro how to do hair in Alabama of all places.” So that was my pinch-me moment on the movie, where I was so happy to have my dad because I talked to people that lost [their] father when he was 50 years old. It was nice to have my father still around and my my mother still around to enjoy this experience.

Mr. De Niro, can you talk to me about working with Sebastian to bring this story to life, and what he brought to the role that wasn’t necessarily on page?

Robert De Niro: It’s built in for him with his relationship with his father, and hopefully with me, we have a good rapport, so we can work off each other. Which we did, and even come up with stuff that’s not in the script. That, to me, was a big plus and a reason to do it, and also Laura Terruso. She’s Italian American; both her parents, one is from Italy, [and] the other is second generation. So it was all good.

About My Father Details

About My Father Robert De Niro & Sebastian Maniscalco

Sebastian and his girlfriend Ellie are invited to her family home for a holiday weekend in the summer, but much to his chagrin he has to bring his Italian immigrant father Salvo. Sebastian and Salvo contend with culture clashes between themselves and Ellie’s rich family. Over the course of the weekend the two very different families become one.

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About My Father

  • Kim Cattrall & Leslie Bibb
  • Laura Terruso
  • Brett Dier, David Rasche & Anders Holm

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