Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, 1980.
Thank you. I love you. I knew it from the moment I saw you.
Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino, 1978)
They’ll call me the contender
They’ll listen for the bell
With my face flashing crimson from the fires of hell
Martin Scorsese, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro and Frank Vincent on the set of Goodfellas.
“I’m a New Yorker, so when it starts to go down, it seems part of the cycle. I mean, I knew that 42nd Street and Times Square was hitting a new low. It was not a safe area. But being a lover of the city, I knew that the city was just going through a phase and it would come back. I was more aware of, and more attracted to, this new expression of open sexuality. Where I came from, sexuality was restricted and repressed. I tried to understand and tried even to join in - as a person. But I always say, when I try to be amoral, I turn out to be immoral. So it wasn’t for me. In Taxi Driver, I didn’t enjoy shooting in those X-rated areas. The sense of wallowing in it was, for me, always filled with tension and extraordinary depression. And the film is very, very depressing. The key is when De Niro tries to open up to Peter Boyle. The guy can’t talk to him. He’s not a philosopher. He just isn’t. And Bob did an improvisation, and he said ‘You know, I have these thoughts,’ and Peter says, ‘Oh, you’ll be okay.’ And he said ‘No I’ve got these bad ideas in my head.’ And that for me was as close as he’s going to get to it. What are these bad ideas? His feelings of rage, his feelings of anger, his feelings of acting out. He did act out before, when he was in the war. But what’s the next step? To pick up a gun again? Or kill someone? He’s trying like hell to keep those feelings down, but they’re coming out, and the guilt over that, too, is strong.” - Martin Scorsese