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How Robert De Niro’s Soon-to-Be Ex Helped Him Land His SNL Gig

Photo: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Whether you think Robert De Niro’s recurring SNL impression of Robert Mueller, special counsel extraordinaire is any good is totally your prerogative, but regardless, he’s been popping up every now and then as the don’t-fuck-with-me investigator since last spring, much to the chagrin of Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump. And you know what, cutely enough? De Niro wanted to swing by the Studio 8H stage so badly that he went in and pitched the role himself, thanks to the idea from his now-separated wife, Grace Hightower. “Actually, my wife, who — we’re separating now — but she had thought of it. I said, ‘What can I play on SNL?’ Because I love SNL. And she came up with Mueller. So I told Lorne Michaels,” he explained in a New Yorker interview. “This is how I remember it — I could be wrong.” As to how he exactly he approaches the impression, De Niro is all about some sunshine and rainbows: “Mueller is the hope. Mueller is our hope. And he’s doing everything — he’s doing it perfectly.” That sounds a lot nicer than, say, pregnant pauses and cheap honey powder.

SNL: How Robert De Niro Was Cast As Robert Mueller