“I was nervous filming a movie with George Clooney and Ben Affleck,” Daniel Ranieri admits about his initial nerves on his first ever film role in the critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama “The Tender Bar.” “I was kind of nervous the first scene, but after I got done with the first scene, I was like, oh, this is so easy. And for the rest of the two months filming, I wasn’t nervous at all. We just filmed the scenes and I had a great time!”
We talked with Ranieri as part of Gold Derby’s special film breakthrough performers “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with key Oscar contenders. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
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“The Tender Bar” is directed by Oscar winner Clooney from a screenplay by Oscar-winning writer William Monahan, adapted from the 2005 memoir of the same name by J. R. Moehringer, recounting his life growing up in Long Island, New York. Ranieri co-stars as the younger version of Moehringer alongside Oscar winner Ben Affleck as his uncle, Lily Rabe as his mother and Christopher Lloyd as his grandfather. Tye Sheridan and Ron Livinsgton also star as older versions of the main character.
“You’ve got to just pretend like it’s your friends or it’s your family,”Ranieri says about tackling nerves on-set. “Pretend that there’s no cameras, there’s no lights and don’t look directly at the camera, because then you’ll get nervous,” he says matter-of-factly. “You just have to pretend like it’s a real conversation.”
Ranieri was plucked out of relative obscurity by casting director Rachel Tenner, who noticed him when he was invited to “Jimmy Kimmel Live” following a viral YouTube video that his mother posted of him railing against the pandemic. After settling in on set, the young actor developed a strong bond with Clooney and especially with leading man Affleck. “I loved him so much,” he says. “And now I actually have his phone number! So me and him text each other. He was like a set dad and he was just great.”
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