NEW YORK – The Studio Exec can exclusively report that two-time Oscar-winning actor, Robert De Niro, has revealed that he is going to start reading scripts again before committing to film projects.
During a recent interview in his TriBeCa office, De Niro told us that he hasn’t actually read a film script since 1993’s This Boy’s Life. He explained:
Yeah, I just haven’t had time to read scripts and assess the material before committing to a movie. I have been too busy with my production company, my hotels and restaurants. Plus, now I have two young kids to look after! And until recently it hadn’t really been much of a problem. I guess I just figured – ‘Hey! I’m Robert De Niro! The greatest actor of his generation! I can just show up on the day, smirk, mug, smirk again, stick my tongue out, say some stuff until they yell cut and collect my paycheck! Al’s been doing it for YEARS! And the movie will turn out fine and people will pay to see it!’ Right?
The wake-up call came when De Niro was on a flight home from Cannes a few weeks ago and the inflight movie happened to be Red Lights, a film he made in 2012. He wasn’t impressed with what he saw.
“It was total shit,” admits De Niro.
Once back in New York, the actor decided to take a closer look at his recent output, and what he saw shocked him.
I guess you could say I have been asleep at the wheel. Okay, there have been a few good movies in the last twenty years – Heat. Casino. Even Meet the Parents. And sure, Silver Linings Playbook was pretty good. But overall I have to say that I have pissed all over my own legacy from a height. It’s time to make changes in the way I do things.
De Niro is now taking steps to rectify this situation and has made a promise to himself, and his fans, to only act in films that have “something important to say” or “present a genuine acting challenge.”
And this plan will come into effect once De Niro clears his current slate of movies which includes Meet the Fokking Grandparents, Analyze Those, Taxi Driver 2 – Bickle’s Back and Stardust 2: Stardustier.