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Robert De Niro Says He Wasn’t Uncomfortable at Jennifer Lawrence’s Rehearsal Dinner: ‘It Was Nice!’ (Exclusive)

Lawrence said in a January interview that she whispered to De Niro, 'Go home' during her pre-wedding celebration in 2019

Robert De Niro enjoyed himself at Jennifer Lawrence’s wedding rehearsal dinner—even though the actress may think otherwise.

On the Golden Globes red carpet last month, Lawrence opened up to E! News about her 2019 wedding to husband Cooke Maroney.

She joked that the experience was “stressful” and said she was consumed with keeping an eye on guests.

“You're not having fun. You're just like, 'Is that person having fun?'” explained Lawrence, who wed gallerist Maroney at the historic Belcourt of Newport mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.

Related: Jennifer Lawrence and Cooke Maroney's Relationship Timeline

One of the invitees she worried about at the rehearsal dinner was De Niro, 80, Lawrence’s costar in 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook and 2013’s American Hustle and 2015’s Joy.

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/mschwartzphoto?igsh=MTh2djVtYWo1NTJ2Yg==" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Michael Schwartz</a></p> Robert De Niro on the cover of PEOPLE

Michael Schwartz

Robert De Niro on the cover of PEOPLE

"I looked over and I saw Bob, who doesn't know anybody and he's kind of wandering around, and I immediately was like, ‘No, this isn't what he wants to be doing. I don't want him here,'" she said.

"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.'”

When he left, "That just genuinely made me feel better,” she added.

Asked about his own recollection that night, De Niro says he wasn’t uncomfortable. “No, I wasn’t. It was nice!” he says, adding that he was only there for about an hour. “It wasn’t that long.”

The Killers of the Flower Moon star and Lawrence have a playful friendship, which they’ve joked about publicly.

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/mschwartzphoto?igsh=MTh2djVtYWo1NTJ2Yg==" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Michael Schwartz</a></p> Robert De Niro

Michael Schwartz

Robert De Niro

“In his own words, I’m ‘like a daughter’ to him,” the Oscar-winning actress said on stage at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2016 when she presented him with the Excellence in Media honor.

Related: Jennifer Lawrence Reveals 'Ultimate Present' She Gave Robert De Niro After He Welcomed Baby No. 7

“And that transpires in our once-a-week drinks at the Greenwich Hotel where I ask him on advice on absolutely everything," she continues. "And also when he gets drunk and he pinches my cheek and says, ‘You remind me of my little Helen [De Niro’s now-12-year-old daughter].’”

"As one of the greatest actors who's ever lived, I can learn a lot from him,” she continued. “But one of the most important things he's taught us is acceptance. Bob is the kindest person I've ever met. His heart is so giving... Bob, you are wise and you are loving, and the world is truly better because of you."

“If I were a lesbian, I’d be all over you,” De Niro joked back at the same event. “Being a father figure has its limitations."

For more on Robert De Niro, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE.

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