Swiss tennis pro Roger Federer joined forces with legendary actor Robert De Niro in an effort to revive tourism in Switzerland, as the world slowly begins to emerge from the pandemic and Europe prepares to reopen to U.S. tourists.
In a new video shot in New York and Zermatt, Switzerland, in the fall, Federer does his best to convince De Niro — perhaps one of the best known actors in American cinema — to partner with him on a new project. De Niro — a native New Yorker who was born in Manhattan — resists, saying he just doesn’t like the project Federer is proposing.
“Look at where you are — your mountains, your ski resorts, your charming little towns,” De Niro says. “There’s no drama, no drama at all.”
But there are activities like skiing and iconic sights like the Matterhorn, Federer says, showing off views from what appears to be a dreamy villa in the Swiss Alps.
Switzerland, De Niro argues, is simply too perfect. Even its people are too nice, he says. De Niro, on the other hand, has largely built his reputation on not being nice, having played Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather: Part II” and gangster Jimmy Conway in “Goodfellas.”
Federer, who is Swiss, was recently named a brand ambassador for Switzerland’s tourism promotion agency, a job that helped him fulfill a long-held goal of returning to Zermatt.
It’s unclear if the tennis legend won over De Niro, though. De Niro’s suggestion to Federer at the end of the commercial? Call Tom Hanks.
Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.