Creator / Robert De Niro

"Don't try it, you fucker. You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?"
Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver

Robert Anthony De Niro (born August 17, 1943) is one of the greatest actors in American film history. He appears in a lot of gangster/cop flicks, and is often compared to Al Pacino. De Niro's most memorable roles include a young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II, Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, and Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull.

Under Martin Scorsese's direction, he was one of the first actors to really take Dyeing for Your Art to the next level and considered to be the heir of Marlon Brando in the honor roll of Method Acting and a major inspiration for actors in the generations that have followed, including Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio among many others.

Tends to enjoy his privacy, and being asked about his family on interviews is his personal Berserk Button. In recent years he has become known as a prominent supporter of the Democrat Party and likewise has become known for playing a number of parts in comedies, and has often been commended as a public speaker.

Notable for:

Tropes associated with Robert De Niro's roles:

  • Adam Westing: Both Analyze This (and sequel) and Shark Tale have him lampooning his old mobster roles. Also in Rocky and Bullwinkle, where Fearless Leader asks "You talkin' to me"?
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: One of the most famous examples. Plays despicable characters so well, but is a humble and absolute sweetheart off-camera. Scorsese has noted that it was DeNiro's great personal empathy that allowed him to play dark characters since he had a real-life tendency to try and relate to others.
  • Method Acting: De Niro gained 60 1b. for his role in Raging Bull.
  • Money, Dear Boy: He isn't shy to admit this was the reason why he did Little Fockers.
  • Playing Against Type: His type is that of Italian-American violent Anti-Hero/Villain Protagonist tough guys who are often unlikable, but a number of his parts expanded on it:
    • Novecento and The Last Tycoon were both roles that cast him as a romantic leading man. In the former he played an Idle Rich Bourgeois Bohemian landowner, and the latter had him play Monroe Starr, the Byronic Hero lead of F. Scott Fitzgerald's last novel. Strangely enough, both parts are actually closer to DeNiro in real life than his more famous rolesnote .
    • His supporting turn in Terry Gilliam's Brazil as a Bomb Throwing Anarchist who was a Loveable Rogue was another turn from the ordinary. Among Martin Scorsese's films, his role in The King of Comedy as Rupert Pupkin is the least typical of his roles. Pupkin is a Loony Fan and he is entirely different in terms of character (i.e. a Perpetual Smiler who primarily ingratiates himself) and performance (low-key, no shouting and little physical violence) but it's generally considered one of his scariest characters (and Scorsese considers it his best performance).
  • Production Posse:
  • Star-Making Role: Johnny Boy in Mean Streets. He was the supporting character next to Harvey Keitel, but DeNiro stole all his scenes, and it was this role that led to him being cast in The Godfather Part II as Young Vito (and won him an Oscar) while Taxi Driver's critical acclaim and box-office success turned him into a star and proved that he could carry an entire film despite the often unlikable and dangerous characters he played.