Adam Pally didn’t have to think twice when he was offered a part in Dirty Grandpa, out Friday. The actor, known for funny turns on the TV shows Happy Endings and The Mindy Project, was doing one of his first movies with a major Hollywood player.
“I had no other care except Robert De Niro was in it,” says Pally from Miami on the first stop of his press tour. “He’s like the Michael Jordan of acting.” Pally plays Nick, the out-of-control cousin of a straight-laced company man (Zac Efron), who travels with his recently widowed, booze-swilling ex-military grandfather (De Niro) to Daytona Beach for spring break before getting married. (For the eagle-eyed Floridians: Beach scenes were actually shot in 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 is in his In Memoriam montage.”
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 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.”
While in town, Pally got to experience Miami’s varied culinary offerings — “the best Cubano sandwich ever” at a hole in the wall and an “awesome” meal at Quality Meats.
“I’m pretty much Anthony Bourdain right now,” Pally quips. “I’d take over for him in a second. Now that’s a great job.”