Happy Birthday: Robert De Niro Turns 72 Today And Covers Cigar Aficionado’s Newest Issue With An Exclusive Interview
~ Exclusive Interview ~
Legendary Actor Robert De Niro Talks
One-On-One with Cigar Aficionado Editor & Publisher Marvin R. Shanken
Wants to do another movie with DiCaprio
New York, NY—Since its inception in 1992, Cigar Aficionado magazine’s editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken has conducted six interviews with unique men from different walks of life. The September/October issue offers Shanken’s seventh cover interview in the 23-year history of the magazine. All of these have been with men who rarely sit for interviews:
- 1994: Cuban Leader Fidel Castro
- 1995: Business Mogul Ronald O. Perelman
- 2003: Director Francis Ford Coppola
- 2003: War Hero General Tommy Franks
- 2005: NBA Legend Michael Jordan
- 2008: Hollywood Producer Arnon Milchan
- 2015: Legendary Actor Robert De Niro
De Niro, one of the world’s most talented and decorated actors, sits down for an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Shanken at his new offices in Manhattan’s West Side. The two-time Academy Award winner, who has appeared in more than 95 films, discusses his career in film—both drama and comedy, goals for the future, and his new business ventures in restaurants, luxury hotels and a new vodka brand.
“One of my goals as the editor and publisher of Cigar Aficionado magazine is to bring you into the world of truly unique people: people whose inside stories have largely gone untold,” said Shanken. “I’ve had Robert De Niro on my wish list for a long, long time. I’m delighted to share this wide ranging discussion with my readers.”
A storied acting career: From the calm and calculated Vito Corleone of The Godfather Part II to the comically overbearing Jack Byrnes of Meet the Parents, De Niro’s career has spanned five decades and close to 100 films—including eight with iconic director Martin Scorsese. He has also directed two films of his own, including the famed A Bronx Tale.
A selection of Robert De Niro’s quotes are below:
- Taking the role of Vito Corleone: Getting the part changed my career, or revved it up, if you will. Then winning the Academy Award [for Best Supporting Actor], you’re kind of guaranteed that you’re going to work again as an actor.
- Working with Martin Scorsese: Ask any actors who work with him. They love Marty because he’s very easy, he goes with your ideas, he’s very, very flexible, and takes whatever he can from every actor. Yet he’s very clear as a director, and guides it, the piece, in the direction he feels he should. He gives you a lot of support. I think that we were just lucky to work together all those times…It was always a joy.
- Reaction to NOT being cast for “Boardwalk Empire” on HBO, produced by Martin Scorsese: Marty didn’t ask me, but that’s fine.
- Being a director: You have to make all the decisions, you have to make them quickly at times…it’s hard to give up certain things, but you have to. When you shoot them you might have to give them up anyway for the overall story, the overall picture, and sometimes it’s hard to give them up because you’ve put so much effort into those scenes and you don’t have enough objectivity. And you have to balance what is good for the picture and what you want.
- Moving into comedy: I didn’t worry about that too much. After Analyze This, Jay Roach asked me if I wanted to do Meet the Parents. I liked Jay a lot, so that’s how it started.
- Actors who have influenced him: Brando’s great actor, I always mention him, James Dean, Montgomery Clift as the three that I was affected by.
- Who he wants to work with next: I’d like to do something with Leonardo DiCaprio.
On his personal life: Despite his prolific acting career, De Niro has long been known to stay out of the spotlight when off-screen. He discusses life in New York, a busy business portfolio and making time for his children.
More quotes are below:
- Preferring New York to L.A.: I like New York because it has seasons. There’s something about L.A. that’s just too spread out and you drive all the time. It’s just not the same experience. I’m a New Yorker. I’d like to stay here.
- September 11 Reflections: I felt like something incomprehensible, when it happened. You couldn’t imagine it. I saw it from my apartment. When I saw the building go down I had to look at my TV to see CNN that it was real….I had to see it on a big television to my left, and I had to look there to confirm what I saw with my own eyes.
- Being more public in recent years: Probably as you get older you just feel, you know, what’s the difference? It’s not going to change anything…But some things just become less important.
- Retirement: I don’t feel really much older than I think. I look at myself, I’m not even used to looking at myself as being older. It’s a little disconcerting if you see somebody you’ve known in your 30s or 40s or even 50s who has not aged well, or just got older. That’s life.
- The one thing he hasn’t done yet that he wants to do before he dies: Live as long as I can for my kids.
The September/October cover story hits newsstands on August 25.