Robert De Niro is widely considered one of the greatest actors of all time. The legendary Method actor has given iconic performances in films like The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, Heat, and Silver Linings Playbook. His collaboration with director Martin Scorsese has produced some of the most indelible films of the 20th century.
Even well into his late 70s, De Niro continues to work regularly, taking on diverse roles across film and television. So what exactly is the esteemed Robert De Niro up to these days as he continues performing in the later stages of his illustrious career?
Recent Notable Roles
Despite his reputation for being notoriously selective with roles, De Niro has ramped up his acting activity the past decade, appearing in several major film and TV projects:
- The Irishman (2019) – Reunited with Scorsese to play mob hitman Frank Sheeran. Groundbreaking deaging VFX used.
- Joker (2019) – Played a talk show host who helps drives Joaquin Phoenix’s fledgling Joker to madness.
- The War with Grandpa (2020) – Family comedy where he battles a kid for his bedroom. Showed De Niro’s comic side.
- Wash Me in the River (2022) – Upcoming crime thriller reuniting De Niro with director Randall Emmett.
- Zero Day (2022) – Political thriller centered around a school shooting. Dark, complex role for De Niro.
While not all critical standouts, these roles reveal De Niro remains committed to acting and open to all types of projects at this stage in his career.
Reunions with Scorsese
De Niro’s most fruitful collaboration has been with director Martin Scorsese, whom he’s made 9 films with. That partnership continues today:
- The Irishman (2019) – De Niro delivered a mournful, reflective performance as hitman Frank Sheeran, reuniting with Scorsese.
- Killers of the Flower Moon (2023?) – De Niro will co-star with Leonardo DiCaprio in this crime drama about the Osage Indian murders of the 1920s.
- Roosevelt (TBA) – Scorsese is set to direct this biopic on Theodore Roosevelt starring DiCaprio and De Niro as an older version of Roosevelt.
Despite rumors of tensions between them, Scorsese and De Niro remain loyal creative partners willing to revisit their iconic collaborations when the timing is right.
Exploring TV Projects
In addition to film work, De Niro has been expanding into prestige television projects the past decade:
- Wizard of Lies (2017) – Played disgraced financier Bernie Madoff in this lauded HBO movie. Earned an Emmy nomination.
- Joker (2019) – Despite film connections, this dark origin story series for HBO Max will stand alone. De Niro will reprise his role.
- Zero Day (2022) – Limited series for Netflix exploring the socio-political roots of a school shooting. De Niro plays the shooter’s father.
- Wise Guys (TBA) – Set to star in this mob drama series for Netflix about clashing crime organizations in 1960s Newark and New York.
Perhaps following the lead of peers like Christopher Walken and Michael Douglas, De Niro iscapitalizing on the demand for seasoned stars in limited series.
While De Niro built his legend playing violent tough guys, he continues to seek out more dramatic, nuanced roles:
- The Comeback Trail (2020) – A meta movie about making a movie, allowed De Niro to flex comedic muscles.
- Armageddon Time (2022) – Heartfelt coming-of-age tale set in 1980s Queens. Gave a moving performance as the protagonist’s grandfather.
- Shinola (TBA) – De Niro will star in this indie family drama as a widower who takes in his troubled grandson. He helped develop the script.
- After Exile (TBA) – Emotional story of an ex-convict reuniting with his daughter. De Niro will portray the repentant father.
Perhaps mellowing with age, the more introspective and emotive side of De Niro’s acting talent is taking precedence in recent years.
Supporting Actor Roles
De Niro has also been willing to take on crucial supporting roles as of late:
- The War with Grandpa (2020) – Though top billed, he lets child star Oakes Fegley take center stage here.
- Joker (2019) – While iconic, De Niro’s talk show host Murray Franklin played a key supporting role to Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck.
- Silver Lining’s Playbook (2012) – His Oscar-nominated turn as Pat Sr. provided humor and heart as a concerned father.
- Joy (2015) – Had a small but memorable role as the encouraging father of Jennifer Lawrence’s Miracle Mop inventor.
A consummate professional, De Niro is content to take supporting parts and allow others to shine when the script calls for it.
De Niro built his reputation on dramatic intensity, but he also harbors impressive comedic abilities:
- The War with Grandpa (2020) – This family feud with a kid showcased De Niro’s slapstick comic timing.
- Joker (2019) – His menacing late night host Murray Franklin displayed De Niro’s wicked wit.
- Last Vegas (2013) – One of the aging bachelors partying in Sin City, De Niro held his own with comic icons Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline.
- Analyze This (1999) – De Niro parodied his own mob persona as a mafioso seeking therapy opposite Billy Crystal.
Proving he doesn’t take himself too seriously, De Niro continues to exercise his funny bone amidst his more serious work.
Producing and Directing
De Niro has also accelerated his producing and directing efforts in recent years through his Tribeca film companies:
- The Irishman (2019) – Produced this passion project he spent a decade trying to get made. It was a smash for Netflix.
- Joker (2019) – Served as one of the key producers on the billion dollar-grossing comic book hit.
- About My Father (2022) – Directed this indie comedy based on Sebastian Maniscalco’s memoir. Showed De Niro’s comedic directing sensibility.
- A Mouthful of Air (2021) – Produced this postpartum depression drama starring Amanda Seyfried that his Tribeca company financed.
While he came up as an actor, De Niro has embraced more creative control by developing projects behind the camera.
Beyond entertainment, De Niro has successful hospitality and entrepreneurial ventures:
- Nobu Restaurants – Co-owns the global luxury sushi restaurant chain with chef Nobu Matsuhisa. The brand has over 40 locations worldwide.
- The Greenwich Hotel – Owns this upscale 88-room hotel in Tribeca that epitomizes low-key elegance. Rooms start at $500+ per night.
- De Niro’s Canal House – Recently opened this high-end restaurant and cocktail bar located in a converted 100-year-old canal house in Amsterdam.
A savvy businessman, De Niro has leveraged his name into profitable hospitality brands without sacrificing his artistic integrity.
In his private life, De Niro has reportedly mellowed in recent years:
- Got remarried in 2004 to businessman Grant Burningham following a difficult divorce. The two maintain a low profile.
- Frequently spotted around New York walking his dog or riding his bicycle enjoying simple pleasures.
- By many accounts, De Niro is warmer and more jovial in person compared to his serious public persona.
- Has spoken about struggling with loneliness as an actor and only finding true happiness later in life.
While still an intense perfectionist on set, De Niro seems to be embracing life’s simpler joys as he settles into his eighth decade.
As he approaches 80 years old, Robert De Niro continues to impress with his work ethic and desire to keep challenging himself artistically. While highly selective with roles at the height of his career, he now appears more open to varied projects across film and television. Though he likely doesn’t have to work much, his dedication to the craft of acting is still strong.
De Niro is maximizing opportunities to collaborate with his longtime muse Martin Scorsese on prestige passion projects like Killers of the Flower Moon. At the same time, he is also showing more of a playful side taking comedic roles and directing breezy comedies. The legendary method actor still possesses an unmatched ability to commit fully to any part that comes his way. While his legacy is already cemented, it appears De Niro plans to continue building on it for years to come rather than mere rest on his considerable laurels.
FAQ About Robert De Niro
What was Robert De Niro’s breakout film role?
De Niro first gained widespread notice playing the small but crucial role of Johnny Boy in Mean Streets in 1973, his first collaboration with Martin Scorsese.
How selective is De Niro with choosing roles?
De Niro was once very selective, only doing about one film per year at the height of his career. He has accelerated his acting output the past decade.
What is De Niro’s highest grossing film?
De Niro’s highest grossing film is Joker which earned over $1 billion worldwide in 2019. Meet the Fockers is his highest grossing live-action comedy with $516 million.
How many Oscars has De Niro won?
De Niro has won two Academy Awards – Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather Part II (1974) and Best Actor for Raging Bull (1980).
Does De Niro prefer comedy or drama?
Though adept at comedy, De Niro’s true passion has always been intense, psychologically complex dramas that allow him to disappear into a role.
What is De Niro’s net worth?
De Niro’s net worth is estimated to be approximately $500 million thanks largely to his savvy business ventures and ownership stakes in major properties.
Is De Niro married?
De Niro has been married twice – to Diahnne Abbott from 1976 to 1988, and to Grace Hightower from 1997 until their divorce in 2018. He remarried Hightower in 2004 after an initial split.
Where was De Niro born?
Robert De Niro was born in Manhattan, New York City in 1943. He was raised by his parents in The Bronx before returning to Manhattan as an adult.
What acting training did De Niro have?
De Niro studied acting at the renowned Stella Adler Conservatory and Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio, absorbing their teachings on the Method technique.
What upcoming projects is De Niro working on?
De Niro has the films Wash Me in the River and Armageddon Time in post-production. He is attached to star in Killers of the Flower Moon, Wise Guys, and After Exile.
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