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Quentin Tarantino explains why Robert De Niro is the greatest actor

Quentin Tarantino has provided a succinct and persuasive argument for why Robert De Niro is one of the best actors after their collaboration on Jackie Brown.

Robert De Niro in Jackie Brown

Quentin Tarantino has perfectly explained why Robert De Niro is one of the greatest actors of all time, and possibly the greatest actor of his generation. Whether it’s his picks for the best movies of all time or criticism of superhero movies, Tarantino has never shied away from being vocal about his opinions regarding cinema.


That extends to his thoughts on the quality of actors too. Tarantino has worked with some of the best actors of all time, from Leonardo DiCaprio to Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and so many more. However, right up there with the best of the best is Robert De Niro. Tarantino worked with De Niro on his crime thriller movie Jackie Brown, in which De Niro played Louis Gara.

Now, comments made by Tarantino in an archived interview with Charlie Rose have resurfaced, in which describes what makes De Niro such an excellent actor. Tarantino says “He deserves his reputation as possibly the greatest actor of his generation. I’ve never seen an actor so completely consume himself in character – in true character work during the work. When Robert is playing Louis and you’re looking at every single piece of footage… he is Louis. He is working moment to moment.”

He continues “Some acting people suggest something to the effect of ‘there’s a zillion choices out there and any one of them is possible and any one of them is great.’ I don’t believe that at all. If you’re really in character you only have few choices. If something weird were to happen at this table right now, there’s not a zillion ways Charlie Rose is going to react, there’s probably about four ways. De Niro has that down.”

This might be one of Tarantino’s less controversial opinions. De Niro is widely regarded to be one of the best actors of all time, notable for his collaborations with Martin Scorsese and for having starred in some of the greatest movies of all time including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas.

To see more performances from the best actors around, take a look at our guide to the best Netflix movies, or the best drama movies.