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Robert De Niro's cinematic guilty pleasures


Before the modern iteration of the great Robert De Niro who appears as a shadow of his former self in the likes of Dirty Grandpa, The Comeback Trail and other underwhelming efforts, he was known as one of the greatest actors of all time. He is still appreciated in this light, even if his modern slate of films try to convince audiences otherwise, with his greatness in the likes of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas known as some of the finest performances in all of cinema. 

Starring in the films of Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino, Robert De Niro has gone on to influence the world of acting thanks to his maverick method acting antics, inspiring other such modern performers like Daniel Day-Lewis, Jared Leto and more. Though he has collaborated with several filmmakers and partaken in various genres over the years, he is an actor most well known for his collaboration with director Martin Scorsese.

Appearing in nine feature films from the iconic director, including Mean Streets, Casino, Cape Fear, The King of Comedy and the director’s most recent effort, The Irishman, Robert De Niro has built a compelling relationship with the filmmaker. As Martin Scorsese told the audience during the introduction of the actor to the stage during the Variety Creative Impact in Acting Award, De Niro’s “creative impact in acting will always be felt so long as there are actors to express their art,” adding that the performer is “the greatest actor of his generation”. 

Whilst the actor is thankfully not as spikey as his on-screen characters, in reality, he does maintain a somewhat grumpy persona, particularly toward the end of his career. Such can be briefly glimpsed when Robert De Niro was asked by King 5 news what his cinematic guilty pleasures were, to which the actor replied with stiff confusion. “Like what,” he said before the interviewer prompts an answer by saying: “Like I love Legally Blonde,” to which the actor replies, “Yeah, that was terrific, I liked that”. 

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Clearly a fan of Reece Witherspoon, the classic actor also told the news station that he was a big fan of Alexander Payne’s Election, noting that “she’s great in that” as he lists his favourite guilty pleasures. Granted, whilst De Niro doesn’t give either film the most rousing acclaim, it is evident that he holds a place in his heart for both Legally Blonde and Election, two films that would have an enormous impact on noughties popular culture.

Robert De Niro is next due to appear in Killers of the Flower Moon, his tenth collaboration with director Martin Scorsese in a film that follows the tragic events of the treatment of the Osage tribe in northeast Oklahoma, along the Kansas line in Pawhuska. Starring Brendan Fraser, Jesse Plemons, Leonardo DiCaprio and De Niro, Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon is currently without a release date.

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