Burt Reynolds makes rare public appearance at film festival

Robert De Niro, from left, Burt Reynolds and Chevy Chase attend the screening of "Dog Years," during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, at Cinepolis Chelsea on Saturday, April 22, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
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NEW YORK (AP)-- Robert De Niro helped Burt Reynolds onto the red carpet for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of his new movie "Dog Years" Saturday night in New York. It was a rare appearance for the 81-year old actor, who at times struggled to walk.

Reynolds was given a chair on the red carpet, so that he could speak to a limited number of press outlets about the film.

He was overjoyed at the turnout.

"Great to see Mr. De Niro, who I love, and ... you know, all the people that I know," Reynolds said. "It's very sweet."

In the film, which is still shopping for distribution, Reynolds portrays an aging movie star who realizes his best days are behind him. The actor sees similarities in the character with his own life.

Reynolds laughed at the obvious parallel with his own life, though he said, "I guess I'm doing all right. I think because it's a hell of a turnout."

Written and directed by Adam Rifkin, the film also stars "Modern Family's" Ariel Winter, Chevy Chase and Nikki Blonsky.

Reynolds joked about working with younger co-stars.

"You don't learn from young actors," Reynolds said. "You just tell them how to behave."