I received a call from Taylor Hackford, the director of the new Robert De Niro movie, The Comedian. He asked if they could purchase the rights to one of my Siesta Key beach scenes to be used as a background mural on a set in the movie. Of course I said yes.
After release of the movie, one reviewer writes “De Niro plays Jackie Burke, an aging comic at a career impasse. Like so many movies with aging casts, this one makes a lot of hay out of seniors trying to cope with the digital world. Jackie doesn’t do such a good job of coping when, one night at a sparsely attended gig, he discovers that a couple of hecklers are razzing him not just for the hell of it, but to provide fodder for their YouTube (or something) series. Jackie head-butts the guy in indignation and winds up battling an assault charge. During his community service (the battle didn’t go his way; he also ended up doing thirty days) he finds himself serving at a food kitchen alongside Mann’s Harmony, the troubled daughter of a one-time mobster played by Keitel. The two strike up a friendship that one desperately hopes does not blossom into a romance, while Jackie juggles money troubles, opportunities for gigs, and other challenges in a way that suggest that he thrives on self-defeat in a sense.”
I went to the local theater to watch and I left disappointed. It was a real bomb. My mural was on screen for a few minutes, but by that time, the viewers interest’s had disappeared. Oh well, so much for my Hollywood artist career.