What he's having

Rob Reiner says family’s comic dynasty has some royal fans

In an interview with The Guardian, the filmmaker talks about the quintessentially non-Jewish UK monarchy’s fandom, and explains why he’s not running for office

Yaakov Schwartz is The Times of Israel's deputy Jewish World editor.

Writer-director Rob Reiner poses for a portrait in New York, May 2, 2016 (Brian Ach/Invision/AP)
Writer-director Rob Reiner poses for a portrait in New York, May 2, 2016 (Brian Ach/Invision/AP)

Director Rob Reiner revealed in an interview with The Guardian Thursday that his family’s comic dynasty has a few unexpected fans – including the Queen of England and the late Princess Diana.

Reiner told The Guardian that he was a bit nervous sitting next to Lady Di at a screening of “When Harry Met Sally” as the infamous fake orgasm scene at Katz’s deli approached. But watching her, he said, “She laughed and laughed.”

Reiner said that the princess leaned over to the film’s star Billy Crystal and whispered that she’d be laughing a lot more, “but everyone is watching me.”

Later, Reiner said, she requested a copy of the movie be sent to Kensington Palace so she could laugh more freely with her friends.

Diana, Princess of Wales, left, and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II smile to well-wishers outside Clarence House in London, August 4, 1987. (AP Photo/Martin Cleaver)

According to Reiner, Diana wasn’t the only one in the Royal Family to admire the Reiner Hollywood legacy.

The director shared that Cary Grant once requested extra copies of comedy album “The 2,000 Year Old Man,” which Reiner’s father Carl Reiner recorded with Mel Brooks, so that he could give one to the Queen.

Carl Reiner, left, and his son Rob Reiner pose together following a hand and footprint ceremony for them at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Friday, April 7, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Upon Grant’s return, Brooks asked what the Queen thought of the album. Grant reportedly told Brooks that she “loved it.”

“Wow,” Brooks thought. “The biggest shiksa in the world! If she can get it, anyone can.”

Reiner got his start in comedy, but said that despite cult success with “This Is Spinal Tap,” it wasn’t until his third movie “Stand by Me” that he felt he’d really established himself.

Rob Reiner, left, presents the Distinction in Theatre award to Mel Brooks at Backstage at the Geffen Gala on Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Los Angeles.(Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for Geffen Playhouse/AP Images)

“‘Spinal Tap’ was satire, and I love satire,” he told The Guardian, “but that was something my father had done.”

Reiner directed some of the biggest hits of the ‘80s and ‘90s, including “The Sure Thing,” “The Princess Bride,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Misery,” and “A Few Good Men.” And his production company, Castle Rock Entertainment, helped produce classics like “In the Line of Fire,” “City Slickers,” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”

When he’s not making films, the 71-year-old director is heavily involved in politics – especially the social justice movement. The American Foundation for Equal Rights, which he co-founded, played a key role in legalizing gay marriage in California. And he is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.

Rob Reiner on the set of his biopic ‘LBJ.’ (Electric Entertainment/JTA)

Reiner has now set his sights on the gun lobby – but while he’s not hesitant to take on another cause, don’t expect him to be running for office anytime soon.

“I don’t want to be an elected official,” he told The Guardian. “I want to get things done.”

Actor/director Rob Reiner, left, and actor Billy Crystal present their film “When Harry Met Sally” at AFI’s 40th Anniversary presented by Target, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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