I’ll be honest – I’ve never really paid too much attention to Robert De Niro as an actor. By that I mean, I think he’s a legend when it comes to movies, but I don’t really know much about his life off-screen and have never been interested in watching or reading interviews with him. With that in mind, I was somewhat shocked to hear that he got up and walked out of an interview with the Radio Times because the reporter dared to ask him a question about his approach to acting.
From The Guardian:
The Oscar-winning star of Raging Bull was promoting his new comedy The Intern when he objected to a line of questioning from interviewer Emma Brockes. De Niro was unhappy with a suggestion that Tribeca, home to the New York film festival he co-founded, had been overrun by bankers, and a question about how he avoids falling into “autopilot” mode on set.
According to Brockes, who also writes features and a column for the Guardian, the actor then asked her to pause the recorder and got out of his chair, paced about “madly” before cutting the interview short because of the “negative inference” of what she had said.
“What, about the bankers?!” she asked. De Niro responded: “All the way through. Negative inference.” Brockes then asked where else he was referring to and he replied: “The whole way through and I’m not doing it. I’m not doing it, darling.” He then stuck his head out of the door to find someone to take him out of the room.
Lord almighty. This sounds awkward as hell. At least Brockes stood up for herself. Here’s more:
According to the interview, published in this week’s edition of Radio Times, when Brockes asked De Niro to explain where he felt she was being negative, he said: “The question about being on autopilot – negative inference.”
She replied: “Wait, but I asked that question to establish how it is you manage not to be on autopilot.” He repeated: “There’s a negative inference.”
Brockes then said: “I have to say, now that you’re going on about it, it makes me think you were on autopilot and you’re super-sensitive about it.” He repeated: “I’m not doing this darling.”
The journalist admits she “lost her cool”, telling De Niro: “I think you’re very condescending.” “Oh, you think ‘darling’ is condescending?” said the actor, before the interview was ended.
Who talks like that? Negative inference? Uh…
So is De Niro a known asshole or did he just have a bad day? You decide!