Art Streiber on photographing legendary actors De Niro, Douglas, Kline, and Freeman. Plus: behind-the-scenes video

So Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas, and Morgan Freeman walk into a bar… It sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s what really happened at a recent Art Streiber shoot. AARP The Magazine asked Art to photograph the legendary actors, who are starring in the new movie Last Vegas, in a bar setting, decked out in tuxes, looking luxe and effortlessly iconic for a feature in the October/November issue. Below, Art talks about how he and his team pulled it off on a summer day, in a studio, in half an hour. Scroll to the end of the post to watch a video of Art’s shoot…

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Art Streiber_Last Vegas tearsheet

Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, and Kevin Kline. Photo by Art Streiber for AARP The Magazine.

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“There really is no other word to describe Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline except ‘legendary.’ These four icons of the silver screen have been working in television and motion pictures (collectively) for 181 years and have won six Academy Awards between them.

And it turns out that even though they’re credited with having worked on more than 300 movies and television shows, they had never worked together before they all joined the cast of their new movie, Last Vegas.

It was a very warm summer afternoon in New York City when the four of them got together for our shoot at Pier 59 Studios. Our producer, Inna Khavinson, organized every aspect of the shoot perfectly. The tuxedos were chosen and fitted by stylist Shala Rothenberg, and set designer Rob Strauss built out an incredible bar (from scratch) and borrowed bar stools from the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis hotel, which, luckily for us, was closed for renovations.

And even though we only had a half an hour on the schedule to shoot singles of each of them on one set and group shots on three different sets, they couldn’t have been more gracious and professional.

For our last, shot we landed at the bar. At this point, it was about 6:45 in the evening and the actors hit the bar like it was the real thing. Mr. Kline asked for champagne, Mr. Freeman requested Ketel One on the rocks, and Mr. Douglas asked for scotch on the rocks. But Mr. De Niro was a bit more specific. He wanted a gin-cucumber martini: slightly muddled cucumber, shaken with Sapphire and ice until frost chips began to form, poured into a glass with a slice of cucumber and absolutely no vermouth.

Which we made for him and he loved.

The four of them hung out at the bar chatting and laughing, and only occasionally glancing at the camera. Finally, I directed them to look at my first assistant and creative producer, Elaine Browne. When I told the guys that Elaine was going to be married in a few months, they all hoisted their glasses, toasted her…and that’s the captured moment that was published as the opener in the magazine.”

Art Streiber_Michael Douglas 1

Michael Douglas. Photo by Art Streiber.

Art Streiber_Michael Douglas 2

Photo by Art Streiber.

Art Streiber_Kevin Kline

Kevin Kline. Photo by Art Streiber.

Art Streiber_Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman. Photo by Art Streiber.

Art Streiber_Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro. Photo by Art Streiber.

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Photo by Art Streiber.

Art Streiber_behind the scenes

Click to watch at aarp.org.

Art Streiber_Last Vegas cover

Photo by Art Streiber.

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AARP The Magazine
Quentin Nardi / director of photography
Scott Davis / design director

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