Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan Reunite for ‘When Harry Met Sally’ Sequel to Honor Rob Reiner

Billy Crystal and Rob Reiner at
Michael Loccisano/WireImage

“Meathead,” also known as Rob Reiner, graciously received the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 41st Chaplin award on Monday at Avery Fisher Hall.

Famous friends including Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Michael Douglas, James Caan and director Martin Scorsese feted the actor-director-writer-producer’s body of work.

“For those of you who have waited 25 years for a (“When Harry Met Sally”) sequel, this is it,” Crystal said when he took the stage with Ryan.

“Sometimes people want to know what happened to Harry and Sally and I think they are OK,” Ryan said.

Crystal joked that Harry was probably now a political consultant for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio helping him get rid of Central Park’s horse-drawn carriages. As for the film’s infamous orgasm scene, Ryan confessed that after a few tries, Reiner had to show her how to properly fake it.

Pic’s cinematographer, Barry Sonnenfeld, went on to describe the filming of the scene at Katz’s Deli as “the worst day of Rob Reiner’s life.”

“I’ve never seen a man have such an active display of panic and depression,” Sonnenfeld told the crowd. “Rob was sweating so much that he had to wear a Katz’s dishtowel over his head. He made Albert Brooks’ sweat scene in “Broadcast News” seem like Albert was calm and collected. He kept turning to me and saying, ‘What was I thinking? I’m directing a woman on how to fake an orgasm in front of my mother (who was an extra in the scene).’”

Before a clip from Reiner’s directorial debut, “This Is Spinal Tap,” pic’s Michael McKean described the film’s pre-production.

“We had a concept, characters, jokes, guitars and wigs, but we didn’t have a script,” he explained. “We wanted to improvise the film to achieve the verisimilitude of the documentary form that we were parodying, to capture the milieu, the ambiance, the Sturm und Drang, as Rob insisted on saying, of a mediocre rock and roll band with the wheels coming off.”

In between clips of Reiner classics including “The Princess Bride,” “Stand by Me” and “Misery,” guests got an exclusive peek at two pics — HBO documentary “The Case Against 8,” which Reiner was involved with as well as helmer’s latest feature, “And So it Goes,” starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton.

“Here’s the thing about this award,” Reiner said when he finally took the stage. “It’s nerve-wracking. Who likes when everybody sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to you? It’s embarrassing! We are all better at giving compliments than taking them, but I’ve had to learn that that is part of being an adult, so I really want to thank Lincoln Center for this.”

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  1. JOANNA MARSHALL says:

    Reiner also did the impossible via “The Sure Thing.” It was close to pitch perfect and he got amazing performances out of Cusack and Zuniga. I still watch it and I’m still learning from it, in addition to all his other work. Truly deserving and brilliant director.

  2. Joe says:

    A great guy and a wonderful film maker, who has created so much enjoyment over a his career.
    A real “Mensch” !

  3. Robbie Goldstein says:

    I had the joy of working with Rob on two movies as a Location Mgr. Others can comment on his directing. I just want to say he is just a great guy. To sit in a van scouting locations was so much fun. The political knowledge he has the stories he tells and the patience to listen to others made for some great rides. Bucket List was one of those movies. We created the world 12 miles from Jack Nicholson’s home. And laughed as we traversed the miniaturized world.

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