The Intern isn’t the kind of movie one’s mind first conjures up, upon hearing the title. Instead, The Intern, which ingeniously partners Anne Hathaway with veteran actor Robert De Niro, is a comedy about a 70-year-old widower (De Niro) eager to come out of retirement and so becomes a senior intern for Jules Ostin (Hathaway), who runs an online fashion site.
As might be expected in a comedy of this nature, Hathaway’s character is reluctant to accept elderly Ben as her intern, assuming the older man will be a burden and an extra responsibility added to a mountain of duties. Eventually, De Niro’s character proves himself, creating an atmosphere in which Jules can thrive, according to an Entertainment Weekly interview with Anne Hathaway.
De Niro has a different take on The Intern, as seen from the perspective of the elder half of this brilliant comic duo. Robert says that a main ambition of The Intern is to show that, while society tends to deem older generations as irrelevant burdens, that’s just not the case in many instances. By the time the young are old enough to appreciate this truth, they are usually sitting on the opposite side of that fence.
Speaking of the old versus young paradox and the stars representing both sides of that coin, Ms. Hathaway is only too eager to remark on the chemistry she shared on screen with Mr. De Niro, but Anne also gushes on the pleasure of getting to know Robert behind the scenes.
“You know, I’m so fond of Bob. I wasn’t expecting living legend Robert De Niro to be such a sweetie. I’m very affectionate towards him. But, you know, it’s Bob,” Anne said. “There weren’t a million jokes in between shots, but as soon as the cameras stopped rolling we were both really loose around each other. It was a real thrill, at least from my perspective.”
Meanwhile, De Niro commented on how honored he was to be asked to participate in The Intern and, like Anne, Robert was eager to work with Director Nancy Meyers on The Intern. Mr. De Niro says that, although he liked the script and would have agreed to star in the film anyway, he found the role reversal of placing his character as the intern beneath the younger woman played by Hathaway to be a “more interesting and fun” concept.
Both Ms. Hathaway and Robert were able to explore themes that they currently confront on a daily basis. For Anne, she felt strongly that her character in The Intern be as representative of a current day career-minded woman as possible, including making sure Jules’ wardrobe wasn’t far more extravagant than a woman of her means could afford.
Mr. De Niro told Cleveland.com that the film opened up the issue of the anxieties many people feel in an evolving workplace, as they get older and may not keep up with new technologies. While The Intern makes light of those anxieties, particularly when Robert’s character is faced with the challenges of working on a computer, Mr. De Niro points out that it’s less comical in real life.
“Anxiety is always there, and I think as long as you are a liar you have anxiety about something. The things that were important 15-20 years ago were less important today because I know I can get the same results or certain things. It does not warrant as much angst or anxiety about how to solve that problem as I thought then.”
The Intern, starring Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, and Rene Russo is currently showing in theaters.
[Featured image: Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro courtesy of Warner Bros./The Intern]