Rightly considered one of the greatest actors of his generation and of American cinema, Robert de Niro has, for a long time, had nothing left to prove. What is precisely the most difficult role of his career? The actor responded in 2019.
Trained at the Actors Studio, like his illustrious colleague Al Pacino, Robert De Niro is rightly considered one of the greatest actors of his generation and of American cinema. A compositional actor who completely matches the profile of his roles, he is also a great perfectionist.
He did not hesitate to learn the saxophone for the musical New York, New York, to live alongside steel miners for Voyage au bout de l’enfer (1978), to gain thirty kilos to play a boxer in decline. in Raging Bull (1980) – a performance which earned him the Oscar for Best Actor – or even learning the Latin mass for the needs of Bloody Confessions…
With such a fabulous career, he has long had nothing to prove.
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And if Bob did a lot of hiding in the 2000s in sometimes unworthy comedies (hello, the atrocious adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle), or, even more recently, in the truly embarrassing Dirty Grandpa, he is still starring in very solid films , like The Irishman or Joker.
At 80 years old, he even offers himself the luxury of an extraordinary composition, chilling with evil creaminess, in Killers of the Flower Moon. But, as he clarified in this magnificent confessional interview given to the newspaper, a twilight interview too, the time has long since passed for the excesses of Method acting, which has become much too tiring for him. More energy.
Hence these considerations of the actor, who declares having entered a period “Japanizing his art”, economy of gestures.
The most difficult role of his career?
In a round table organized by thein 2019, on the sidelines of the promotion of The Irishman, the actor revealed the role that he considered to be the most difficult of his immense career, the one that required near abandonment in its preparation.
“I definitely think it’s Jake LaMotta’s from Raging Bull,” he confided, “with all this weight gain…”
And to tell what convinced him for this role: “I had read Jake LaMotta’s memoir while I was doing 1900 of Bernardo Bertolucci. So I called Marty from Italy and said, “The book isn’t great literature, but it has a lot of heart in it.”.
I remember seeing Jake LaMotta on 7th Street in New York, he worked at some sort of strip club. He was standing outside on the sidewalk, hugely overweight. I said to myself: “My God, what happened to him?”
And I thought the graphic difference between being obese like he was and being a young boxer was really interesting. I thought I would like to see if I could gain this weight. So that was my interest in this role.”