Legendary actor and producer, Robert De Niro appeared on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and gave us a throwback of his 70s movie “Taxi Driver”. The multiple Grammy Award-winning artist shared how he had to get a taxicab driver’s license while filming Taxi Driver. Read on to know all about this interesting conversation.
First Guest ever On “Late Night”
Jimmy’s “The Tonight Show” was all about nostalgia. As Robert De Niro entered, Jimmy Fallon reminded the 79-year-old star that he was Jimmy’s first guest ever when he started Late Night”. He even revealed the old guest sign book from the “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and said, “You were the first person to sign this book.”
Jimmy then asked “The Godfather Part II” star to read what he wrote for him back then. It was written: “Jimmy I think you really [beep] up.” The note was signed by Robert on February 3, 2009. De Niro asked, “And you know what, I gave…How many years ago was that?” Jimmy replied, “13 years ago.” The “Taxi Driver” star revealed that he gave Jimmy a dollar. Jimmy responded, “It was “The Tonight Show”, but you don’t get that money back.”
Di Nero’s Museum And The Cab Driver License…
FYI, this weekend, Robert De Niro was honoured at the Harry Ransom Centre at the University of Texas and opened the “De Niro Curator Of Film” endowment. Jimmy explained, “This is a museum…it includes everything you’ve saved throughout your career, right?
De Niro replied, “Well, not everything, a lot because I see that stuff would disappear or I’d be trying on something in a costume place in L.A., and it’d be something from another production, you say…And in my own experience, things would disappear, if you didn’t hold on to them. People would take them as souvenirs and so on.” So yea, a museum sounds like a perfect way to cherish these memorable things that belong to the legendary actor.
De Niro even quoted an example of Brando’s Godfather script and said, “There was Brando’s original Godfather script, which was sold on eBay and my assistant pointed out this to me, so it never really, you know–had a real place. It was just wherever, bought and put away somewhere. So I thought I’ll keep all this stuff and keep it– and then, one day we started talking about where it would go, and it was becoming very costly to hold it.”
This was the reason why Harry Ransom Center took all my material, which I thought was–I was very happy because they’ve got great things there and proud to be part of that family. Jimmy nodded stating that it was an amazing thing!
While continuing with their conversation, Jimmy also revealed Robert De Niro’s Taxicab driver’s license when he was filming “Taxi Driver” in 1976. Jimmy said, “You actually were a cabbie for a little bit,” and asked, “How were you as a cab driver?” De Niro said, “I was okay. I am a New York driver, you know so I got along, I got around. Well, that’s classic Robert De Niro!
FYI, the Harry Ransom Center now has De Niro’s cab driver’s license. Robert De Niro was nominated for the Academy Award For Best Actor. The classic 1976 film was directed by Martin Scorsese and included a legendary cast: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, and Albert Brooks.
While preparing for the film, De Niro obtained a cab driver’s license and reportedly worked 12-hour days as a cabby for a month to prep for the role. As Hollywood lore has it, he even picked up passengers while on break during shooting around New York City.
Di Nero Is A True Inspiration…
Jimmy then asked, “Did people recognize you?” Robert answered, “Well, there was one guy, I think, that did a double take when he looked into the mirror and wasn’t sure, it was me. That was it.” No one recognized him.
Jimmy also revealed that Meryl Streep talked at the Harry Ransom Centre at the University of Texas and said some very nice things about him. She mentioned that Robert De Niro was the inspiration for her being the type of actor she always wanted to be. A humble De Niro expressed his gratitude for another legendary actress.
Jimmy then continued, “Not only are you an inspiration to other actors, but other actors often do a lot of impression of you. I don’t know if you’ve heard.” De Niro replied, “No”, and burst out in laughter. After that, Jimmy revealed some of the actors and actresses who did an impression of De Niro on “The Tonight Show”. But again, not even close.
“How would you say that you would do an impression of yourself?”, Jimmy asked. De Niro replied, “I couldn’t. I don’t know.” Jimmy responded, “I don’t know how many times I’ve done an impression of you in front of you. You’ve been very patient, you’ve been a good sport.” “I am not even doing it tonight,” he said and continued making an impression on De Niro.
All About De Niro’s Upcoming Movie…
Robert De Niro can never grow old, at least when it comes to his acting career. Even after having a stellar career of more than 8 decades, Robert hasn’t stopped acting. In Jan. 2022, Robert De Niro signed on for the new David O. Russell film Amsterdam. The legendary actor would be appearing alongside actors like Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and John David Washington, Rami Malek and Michael Shannon.
About the movie, Jimmy explained, “It’s a great story. At the beginning of it, it says a lot of this really happened. And it’s actually based on a true story.” He then asked, “Is that why you wanted to do this movie?” Robert answered, “Well, the character of Smedley Butler was based on was really a great character who I wasn’t aware of.”
He continued, “David O. Russell told me about it when he was describing the script. This went on for a couple of months and told me a possible character I would do. Then he mentioned the character, the one I played, Dillenbeck, and he said it’s based on this guy, Smedley Butler, the general.”
He explained how things were ramping up between the First World War and the Second World War with the fascists of Italy, Mussolini and Hitler and all that. It’s the same thing that’s now happening, and his character has been really inspiring, especially in his speeches. Well, it’s De Niro and I do see another movie making its way to the Oscars, what do you think?