‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands
NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.
Witnesses confirmed that De Niro, who played gangster Jimmy Conway in the movie, refused to continue with the filming of HBO’s upcoming Bernie Madoff biopic, The Wizard Of Lies, until the gifted man could be brought before the actor to demonstrate his singular ability to repeat sections of dialogue from the Academy Award–winning crime drama.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa—you’re saying this guy can recite 15 or 20 lines from the movie, fully and completely, without messing up or having to stop even once?” said De Niro after rushing over to a crew member who he had overheard telling several coworkers about Sullivan’s skill. “He can just reel off the dialogue, word for word? From all the biggest scenes?”
“Find him now—do whatever you gotta do to get him here, ASAP,” De Niro added after calling over his assistant and whispering urgently in her ear.
After learning that the man had been known to recite lines along with the film while it played, as well as repeat entire monologues when hanging out with his buddies at a bar, De Niro was reportedly further shocked to find out that Sullivan was also able to call on his ability in a casual workplace setting, with his family during holiday visits, and, on rare occasion, while ordering fast food at a drive-thru window—all without the aid of a script.
De Niro, who discovered that Sullivan was not a famous entertainer but instead an unmarried sales associate at a Jersey City–area Verizon Wireless location, was said to be so astonished that he was rendered incapable of speech for several minutes.
“So you’re saying I could deliver a line from the scene where Billy starts busting Tommy’s balls and he could deliver the exact response, just like that?” De Niro said after regaining his composure. “And he does the accents and even gets all the pauses and hand gestures right? How have I never heard of this guy before?”
De Niro then reportedly made a phone call to the assistant he had just dispatched to find Sullivan, telling her to reserve the penthouse suite at the Plaza Hotel for the incredible man and saying that he would meet Sullivan there shortly.
“Actually, on second thought, don’t put him in a hotel—take him to my place in Tribeca,” the two-time Oscar winner said. “I want him to stay with me for a while. And don’t take no for an answer.”
Before placing several more phone calls to Goodfellas co-stars Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, and Joe Pesci about the man’s prowess, De Niro reportedly speculated that he and Sullivan might immediately become good friends. The actor is said to have given considerable thought to this possibility, especially after learning that Sullivan knew several pieces of miscellaneous production trivia about the film, including the fact that Martin Scorsese’s actual mother had played Pesci’s character’s mother, that Nora Ephron’s comedic Steve Martin vehicle My Blue Heaven was based on the same story as Goodfellas, and that Ray Liotta would listen to FBI wiretap recordings of the real Henry Hill to help get into character.
“People must constantly be bothering him to do the ‘You think I’m funny?’ scene in the bar—I know I’d never get tired of hearing it,” De Niro said. “I honestly can’t believe he even does a dead-on Paul Sorvino impression—I’ve tried, and it’s impossible. And how can he do that at the same time he’s remembering all the lines?”
Sources said De Niro then deliberated for several minutes, wondering whether he should immediately head to Sullivan’s home to see the man in his element and witness the incredible feat in person.
At press time, De Niro was reportedly outraged to learn that Sullivan was en route to Newark Liberty International Airport at the behest of comedy legend Mel Brooks, who insisted that Sullivan immediately fly to Los Angeles after Brooks learned that he could recite the entirety of the 1987 Star Wars spoof Spaceballs.