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Kim Cattrall's Hilarious About My Father Haircut Scene Was Influenced By De Niro - Exclusive

In the new comedy "About My Father," Kim Cattrall's matriarchal character of Tigger Collins is the definition of the American Dream. She is an esteemed politician, boasts wealth and status, and has a supportive husband (David Rasche) and children (Leslie Bibb, Brett Dier, Anders Holm). There's a certain image that she must uphold, but this proves difficult when her future son-in-law, Sebastian (Sebastian Maniscalco), and his old-school Italian father, Salvo (Robert De Niro), come to visit for the weekend.

When Tigger entrusts Salvo, a longtime hairstylist, with touching up her blond locks for an impromptu television appearance, things turn south — and short — very quickly, with Salvo getting a little carried away with the scissors. According to Cattrall, De Niro — who learned some hair tips from the real-life Salvo Maniscalco — was instrumental in the final outcome of this scene.

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Kim Cattrall recalled how the hair department measured her for a wig and styled it, but De Niro didn't think it worked. "And he was right because he is playing a hairdresser and this is the first time you actually see him do a haircut. His character thought that he was a Michelangelo of haircutters, so he wanted to be true to his character [in] that he gave her a fantastic cut. So we stopped shooting, we went back to the hair trailer, and we made it shorter and shorter and shorter and shorter until you see what it is — almost like a Mia Farrow cut from 'Rosemary's Baby.'"

Cattrall added, "He was absolutely right about the cut and the color and everything about that statement. He made that work."

Robert De Niro immersed himself in his hairstylist character

Based on Kim Cattrall's comments, one might be thinking, "Wait, does Robert De Niro have a background in hair?" Well, sort of. Since his teenage years, he's been heavily influenced by the Stanislavsky Method of acting, taught by his Conservatory of Acting instructor, Stella Adler. Basically, actors who use this method completely immerse themselves in whatever role they take on, going above and beyond to understand what makes the character tick.

De Niro is well-known for employing this method, from his 60-pound weight gain as Jake LaMotta in "Raging Bull" to his saxophone lessons in preparation for "New York, New York." Even at 79 years old, he doesn't cut any corners when it comes to film prep. Before the cameras started rolling for "About My Father," De Niro spent many hours with Salvo Maniscalco — the real-life father of his on-screen son, Sebastian Maniscalco — to learn about his many years as a hairstylist.

"He's a real character," De Niro said of Salvo in a press kit interview via Lionsgate. "I was lucky to have him as a model." 

Sebastian added, "My father ... wants people to leave the movie wondering who the hell trained Robert De Niro on how to do hair."

Watch "About My Father" in theaters on May 26.