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Reese Witherspoon ‘didn’t know who Robert De Niro’ was during movie audition


Reese Witherspoon admitted she had no clue who Robert De Niro was when she waltzed into an audition within the early days of her profession.

During an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday, the actress recalled walking right into a room to read her lines in front of the “Goodfellas” star when she was just 14 years old.

“I didn’t know who Robert De Niro was, so I used to be standing outside talking to the receptionist. She was like, ‘You already know he’s an important actor of our time, right?’” Witherspoon told host Jimmy Kimmel.

The Oscar winner, who was auditioning for De Niro’s 1991 film “Cape Fear,” said she “bricked that audition” after not having a clue who he was.

“I used to be 14. I’d never seen ‘Goodfellas.’ I’d never seen ‘The Godfather.’ So it totally got on my nerves,” she added.

Witherspoon crossed paths with the actor at one other audition a decade later, when she naively thought he was “never gonna keep in mind that I bricked that audition.”

“And he was like, ‘I remember you,’” she recalled. “I used to be like, ‘Me?’ He’s like, ‘Oh yeah. You’re the one who couldn’t say the word.’”

The 46-year-old admitted she now not remembered the word she had trouble pronouncing.

“Oh, my God! That is so bad,” the “Legally Blonde” star added.

De Niro in “Cape Fear” (1991).

Witherspoon auditioned for
Witherspoon auditioned for “Cape Fear,” but didn’t get the part.”


De Niro at the Savage Salvation Premier on Nov. 27, 2022.De Niro at the Savage Salvation Premier on Nov. 27, 2022.
De Niro on the Savage Salvation Premier in NY on Nov. 27, 2022.


Witherspoon revealed one other awkward encounter she had with one more Hollywood icon.

Recalling a time when she worked as an intern for Denzel Washington’s 1995 film “Devil in a Blue Dress,” Witherspoon said certainly one of her duties was to park Washington’s Porsche when he arrived on set.

“Not a very good idea for a 17-year-old kid with a brand-new driver’s license,” she quipped.

“Oh, my God! I stripped all of the gears, it was terrible,” she laughed.

“The joke is, I saw him a number of years ago at a marriage, and he’s like, ‘I’ve heard you tell this story about the way you used to park my Porsche.’ And I used to be like, ‘Yes, I did.’”

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