Adam Pally didn’t have to think twice when he was offered a part in Dirty Grandpa, out Friday. The actor, known for the TV shows Happy Endings and The Mindy Project, was doing one of his first movies with a major Hollywood player: Robert De Niro.
“I didn’t care about anything else except De Niro was in it,” said Pally from Miami on the first stop of his press tour. “He’s like the Michael Jordan of acting. I wanted to get a peek.” Pally plays Nick, the out of control cousin of a straight-laced company man (Zac Efron), who travels with his recently widowed, flask-swilling ex military grandfather (De Niro) to Daytona Beach for spring break before getting married. The beach scenes were actually filmed in n Tybee Island, Georgia.
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Was it intimidating doing scenes with the legendary Oscar winner? Only mildly. “The first thing I told him was, ‘I can’t believe I get to work alongside the star of ‘Analyze That,’ Pally jokes. “No seriously, he was actually really easy to play off of. It was all very normal and even keel. We’re buds. I hope when he dies his clip with me in his ‘In Memoriam’ montage.” The only person on set Pally apparently didn’t jibe with was costar Jason Mantzoukas (The Dictator).
“We have a well documented hatred of one another that was exacerbated on this film,” the Iron Man 3 star deadpans. “This is the new celebrity feud. You heard it here first. I’m charged up!”
Playing a wildman came easily to Pally, who is originally from New York City. “This role gave me the freedom to be as crazy as I wanted to be,” says the way sarcastic 33-year-old, who claims he based Nick on the rapper Bizzy Bone, of the group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. “And pretty cool that I got to hang with the big boys.” Pally’s next project is another bachelor comedy: Joshy, having its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as something for the younger generation, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, based on the 2011 novel by James Patterson.
‘As I’ve gotten older and possibly dumber, I try to do different stuff,” Pally says of his projects. “I also wanted to do something that my kids might be able to see.” Yes. Keeping the L.A. resident grounded are daughter GG, 3, and son Cole, 4, with wife Daniella Liben.
“I’m right in the middle of it; lots of tantrums in Target.” While in town, Pally got to experience Miami’s varied offerings. He had “the best Cubano sandwich ever” at a hole in the wall and sat down to am “awesome” meal at Quality Meats. “I’m pretty much Anthony Bourdain right now,” he said. “I’d take over for him in a second. I guess you kind of have to be a culinary genius, but I’m game.”