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Robert De Niro Doesn’t Mind Being Celebrated

Outside the Odeon in Lower Manhattan on Monday night, the bistro’s famed neon sign peeked above a tent shielding celebrities from onlookers trying to glimpse the red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival’s 17th annual artists dinner.

Selma Blair shared the spotlight with Scout, her service dog, who has been her companion since her 2018 diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The actor Blake Lively, who arrived late in Chanel, a sponsor of the night, was apologetic to the photographers for making them wait.

“I would’ve bought you Shake Shack or something,” she called out to them as she posed.

After the step and repeat, more than a hundred actors, directors and artists filed inside the restaurant, a neighborhood mainstay since the 1980s known for its steak frites and celebrity regulars. That evening, the Odeon was even more star-studded than usual: For this year’s dinner, which honors artists who donated work to be given to winners at the film festival, Chanel had pulled in many of the famous names from its Rolodex, who are known to make appearances at their functions wearing the brand.

They had also come out to help celebrate the festival’s co-founder, Robert De Niro, who turned 80 last year. “De Niro Con,” a series of screenings and talks, plus an immersive exhibit, starts on June 14.

The octogenarian actor said he didn’t mind a celebration about him.

“It’s always nice. I can’t complain,” adding, with a quiet laugh, it’s better than “being trashed” or criticized.

(Donald J. Trump recently lobbed several insults at Mr. De Niro after the actor went off-script outside the Manhattan courthouse where his criminal trial took place, saying the former president should “absolutely” go to jail.)

Inside, staff serving plates of steak frites and burgers inched their way between guests seated at booths and long tables adorned with flowers and tea lights.

Faces of the moment were scattered around the room. Natasha Lyonne was sitting next to the comedian Trevor Noah. Across from them, the actors Chloe Fineman and Olivia Munn chatted. Colman Domingo, the actor, was leafing through the art books placed on the seats of the restaurant.

Ms. Lively shared a table with Peter Marino, the architect, and Lauren Santo Domingo, the co-founder of Moda Operandi. The actor Grace Gummer sat next to her husband, the record producer Mark Ronson, as he spoke to the singer Lily Allen.

Katie Holmes spoke to Jane Rosenthal, the chief executive of Tribeca Enterprises, who co-founded the film festival with Mr. De Niro and the real estate investor Craig Hatkoff, her ex-husband. Also in the crowd were the actors Lucy Hale and Francesca Scorsese and the fashion designer Zac Posen.

Away from the nucleus of his own event, Mr. De Niro and his partner, Tiffany Chen, were seated in a corner booth next to Mr. Law and the director Darren Aronofsky.

Some of the guests reflected on their earliest memories of watching Mr. De Niro’s films.

Ms. Blair said the 1980 film “Raging Bull” was her favorite as a child. For the actor Hari Nef, it was 1976’s “Taxi Driver” that came to mind. Ms. Lively and the actor Camila Mendes both agreed on “Meet the Fockers” from 2004.

“He has that comedic timing that gives his roles a sense of humor and a channel of relatability,” Ms. Mendes said.

Ms. Rosenthal made brief remarks just before 10 p.m. and invited guests to view the “De Niro Is An Icon” immersive experience at Spring Studios which opened last week and showcases items from Mr. De Niro’s archives, including scripts, props and photographs.

Mr. Law, books in hand, exited, too, and headed to the exhibit a few blocks away. Ms. Blair, with a dog leash in one hand and a peony on the other, said her goodbyes and thanked a server on her way out.


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