Robert De Niro
By: Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
“I’m different in certain ways,” Robert De Niro says of the actor that he is today versus the one that he was when he first was establishing himself as one of film’s all-time greats back in the 1970s. As we sit down in a Los Angeles hotel room to record an episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast, he acknowledges, “I don’t spend as much time on certain things that I would have concerned myself more about when I was younger because I don’t feel that I need to put that much time and effort in it.”
Some have suggested that the 73-year-old’s work, in recent years, has reflected a certain lack of attention and drive, at least in comparison to his earlier work in instant-classics like 1973’s Mean Streets, 1974’s The Godfather Part II, 1976’s Taxi Driver, 1978’s The Deer Hunter, 1980’s Raging Bull, 1990’s GoodFellas and 1995’s Casino. “If someone said that,” he responds, “I’d say, ‘Well, look, I’m happy I did Raging Bull. If you think nothing compares, fine. At least I did one or two.”
But the best way for De Niro to quiet the naysayers is, of course, to show, on the big screen, that he’s still got the magic. And the good news is that that’s precisely what he does in Taylor Hackford’s new dramedy The Comedian, which premiered at AFI Fest on Nov. 11, goes into limited release on Dec. 2 and then opens wide on Jan. 13. In that film, ironically enough, De Niro plays a guy who struggles to escape from the shadow of his past work as he tries to move on and do new things. Sound familiar?
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