“It is better to ask for forgiveness than to seek permission.”
– Robert De Niro
Revered film legend Robert De Niro has been setting Hollywood ablaze with his talent and charisma for the last half-century. Lucky for us, he shows no signs of stopping.
It’s pretty safe to say that an essential piece of every cinephile’s collection must include that classic yellow poster of De Niro starring in the 1976 film, “Taxi Driver.”
Which, like most of De Niro’s films, has been hailed as one of the greatest movies ever made. His signature line in the production, “You talkin’ to me!?” (accompanied by his signature pose) is one of the most quoted lines in pop culture.
De Niro is typically associated with the infamous movie roles he stars in, and with good reason. But, as if we needed any more reasons to love the guy, there is so much more to this movie stalwart than his silver screen presence.
For instance, in 2002 De Niro launched Tribeca Film Festival as an attempt to rehabilitate the economic and social devastation caused by the 9/11 attacks in NYC. His aim was to shine a light on the talent of independent filmmakers and to help the Tribeca neighborhood which had suffered immense adverse effects from the incident. Today the Tribeca Film Festival has grown to become known as one of the most successful and revered film festivals in the world.
Most people don’t realize that the actor is also an award-winning restaurateur. Several years ago, a chance meeting between De Niro and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa in Los Angeles granted him the opportunity to convince the chef to open a restaurant in New York together. De Niro had to wait four years before Nobu was ready to go into business together, but the waiting definitely paid off. Today, their collaborative restaurant, Nobu, is a landmark in New York with multiple locations open, a celebrity following, and is recognized as one of the world’s greatest Japanese restaurants. De Niro also runs the Tribeca Grill, and the Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca.
A quick Google search, supported by multiple different sources, shows that in 2017 De Niro’s net worth was valued at over $200 million! Owed not only to his ever-flourishing film career success, but also from multiple personal projects, productions, and hospitality ventures.
In spite of all his endless accomplishments, De Niro never even finished his high-school diploma, and dropped out of the private high school he was enrolled to to pursue his acting career. Luckily, both of his parents were artists as well and supported this decision. Obviously this big risk paid off for De Niro, who obviously found success in the acting path he sought after his drop-out. He originally enrolled in acting at HB studio, before eventually finding himself at The Actors Studio, where his professional career ultimately took off.
Nowadays, De Niro is regarded as one of the greatest actors who have ever graced Hollywood: a list that includes Daniel Day Lewis, Marlon Brando, Heath Ledger, and James Dean. He also went to immense lengths to fulfill his acting roles to a staggering degree– including learning to box with professionals for his boxing movie “Raging Bull” (for which he won an Oscar), and putting on 60 pounds for the role.
The progressive-minded actor doesn’t keep his liberal political stance private, and makes an effort to use his platform to be an advocate for causes like Artists Against Fracking, and the MeToo movement. He’s also a patron to research for autism, a fact that was brought to light after he announced that his son, whom he had with his second wife, suffers from the same disorder.
De Niro refuses to discuss his religious views publicly. It is known, however, that he was raised in an atheist household with his parents, yet was secretly baptised in a Catholic church by his grandparents.
As of 2004, the native-born New Yorker was granted dual citizenship between the USA and Italy. The journey to attaining his Italian passport wasn’t an easy task though. Although the country granted him honorary citizenship, his passport application was strongly protested by a group of Italian-Americans who believed that many of his roles portrayed negative Italian-American stereotypes. To De Niro’s luck, after all the protesting, his passport was obtained successfully.
De Niro is currently working on a collaborative movie with longtime friend and producer Martin Scorsese, titled “The Irishman.” The production is set to be released on Netflix at some point during 2019. So while you are watching it, dear reader, think back to all the impressive accomplishments you’ve learned about the ever-impressive Mr. De Niro, and watch him shine on that silver screen, brighter than ever!
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