Norton Scores with Brando, De Niro

06/25/2001 at 01:00 PM EDT

Ed Norton, 31, gets to play opposite some heavyweights in his latest movie, the crime caper "The Score," which opens July 13. His costars are Marlon Brando, 71, and Robert De Niro, 57. But besides the fact that both their names end in "o," the two older actors share one other similarity: Both are considered legends. Did the younger performer find working them to be daunting? Norton, who has known Brando for a few years, told PEOPLE, "He is such an easygoing guy. Being around Marlon, you know . . . he (would) take out his whoopee cushion and find a way to put it right where Bob would land for the most serious moment of the scene." And De Niro? "Serious, meticulous and maintained and incredibly impressive level of discipline about his approach. He is easygoing and interested in your take on things." Still, Norton finally admitted, acting with the two WAS daunting. "The first time we were all together, I definitely had to take a little breath," said Norton. Happily, for him, in that first take, "Marlon poured water down his shirt, and Robert flubbed his lines, so it was good."

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