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Rob Reiner: 'My dad Carl Reiner didn't think I was a talented kid'

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Rob Reiner has admitted it was a struggle to prove his talent to famous father Carl Reiner.

The Magic of Belle Isle director joked that he rarely impressed legendary comedian Carl during his childhood.

Rob Reiner

© WENN / FayesVision

Carl Reiner

© WENN / FayesVision



"[Carl] didn't [see my talent], not until I was 19 years old. As a kid growing up, he never thought I was talented at all,' Rob told Collider. "As a matter of fact, when I was a young kid, eight years old, I used to play with [writer] Norman Lear's daughter. I don't even remember, but he tells me we were playing a game of jacks and I was announcing the game and doing some schtick or whatever."

The filmmaker continued: "Norman went to my dad and said 'Your son is really funny', and my dad said, 'That kid? He's not funny. He's not funny at all'.

"He never thought that way until I was 19 and I did an improvisational theater group that I wrote and directed and acted in and he saw me in that and I directed some plays. Then he said that then he could see it. He got behind me. He jumped on the bandwagon."

Rob went on to reveal that his struggle to earn his father's acceptance continued into his early directing career.

Spinal Tap

© PA Images / Tim Ireland/PA Archive

Stand by Me (1986)














"It really didn't happen until I did Stand By Me. I was in my mid-thirties already. I had been successful with All in the Family [as an actor]," he recalled. "I'd done a couple of movies, Spinal Tap and The Sure Thing. But Spinal Tap was a satire, and even though it wasn't a movie my father probably would make, he dug it."

Rob went on to say: "[Carl] was born, he was raised in satire, he did satire. That's what he did. The Sure Thing was a romantic comedy and he had done those. Stand By Me was the first time I did a film that was completely an extension of my personality. It had a melancholy feel, but it was also funny.

"It had an emotional part to it. It had all of this and it was something my father in a million years never would have approached. It was doing that and being accepted and being validated because it was accepted, that was the first time I went 'Okay, I'm breaking away' and I was in my thirties by that point."

Rob has since been nominated for an Oscar and nine Golden Globes.

The Magic of Belle Isle, which stars Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen, is now playing in US cinemas.

Watch a trailer for The Magic of Belle Isle below:

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