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Why Jennifer Lawrence Told Robert De Niro to Leave Her Rehearsal Dinner

The Oscar winner married Cooke Maroney in 2019.

While most people can't imagine being able to invite a star as big as Robert De Niro to one of their major life events, it's likely even harder to imagine kicking him out once he's there. But that's exactly what Jennifer Lawrence did at the rehearsal dinner before her wedding. By the time the 33-year-old married her husband Cooke Maroney in 2019, she and De Niro had appeared in three movies together: 2012's Silver Linings Playbook, 2013's American Hustle, and 2015's Joy, all with director David O. Russell. But she recently explained why, even though they were close enough for him to get an invite to her special day, she was still so nervous about having the Hollywood legend there that she asked him to leave.

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Lawrence first revealed that she kicked De Niro out of her rehearsal dinner in a 2022 video for Vogue. "I invited him to my rehearsal dinner for my wedding, obviously expecting him not to come," the actor shared. "And when he came, I said, 'Bob, you really don't have to be here. You can go home.' And he was like, 'Thank you so much,' and left."

In a new interview with E! News at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards, the Hunger Games star explained why she felt pressured to tell De Niro to leave.

"It's so stressful," Lawrence said of having a wedding. "You're not having fun. You're just like, 'Is that person having fun? Is everybody having fun? Are you hungry?'"

When she spotted De Niro at the rehearsal dinner, she became convinced the Killers of the Flower Moon star wasn't enjoying himself.

"I looked over and I saw Bob, who doesn't know anybody and he's kind of wandering around, and I immediately was just like, 'No, this isn't what he wants to be doing. I don't want him here,'" she told E! News. "So, I went over and whispered, I was like, 'Go home.' And he was nice. He, like, talked to my parents and was polite. But I was like, 'Go.' And then he left and that just genuinely made me feel better."

Lawrence said that she was consumed by another worry at her wedding, too.

"I'll never forget—I was freaking out about the guests being cold, and all of my friends were lying they're like, 'Nobody's cold, nobody's cold, everything's fine, everything's fine.'" The star said that it was her mother who finally told her the truth. "My mom was like, 'It's freezing out there, [your] grandmother almost died,'" she joked.

Despite him leaving her rehearsal dinner early, Lawrence and De Niro have developed a relationship that he's described as almost familial. In 2016, he told ABC News, "I love Jennifer. She's great. She reminds me of my daughter, you know. She's a wonderful actor. I don't know how she does certain things, with just like I think learning lines, especially working with David O. Russell. Sometimes different things are thrown at her, and she manages to do it, which is great. It's not easy."

That same year, Lawrence presented De Niro with an award at the GLAAD Media Awards. "Bob has asked me to present him with GLAAD's Excellence in Media award, because in his own words I'm 'like a daughter' to him," she said (via USA Today). "And that transpires in our once-a-week drinks at the Greenwich Hotel where I ask him advice about absolutely everything. And also when he gets drunk and pinches my cheek and says, 'You remind me of my little Helen,' who's four."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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