Robert De Niro is a lucky guy. In Robert De Niro’s six-decade-long career, he’s collaborated with some of the best directors, made some of the best movies ever, and he’s worked with Zac Efron. Who wouldn’t want to work with Zac Efron?
Still, while De Niro’s enjoyed incredible success as an actor, his directorial efforts haven’t really cut through in the same way. Speaking at the Tribeca Film Festival [Via Variety], the Goodfella’s star was asked about his directorial debut, A Bronx Tale, and he admitted that he “never got asked to do movies after that.”
The 1993 drama movie tells the story of Calogero, a young boy who finds himself torn between a life of crime with Mafia boss Sonny (Chazz Palminteri) and a more honest life with his hard-working father, Lorenzo (De Niro). Bronx Tale actually received great reviews from critics, but it failed to turn a profit.
Speaking at Tribeca about the film’s financial failure, De Niro admitted to being disappointed with the result after working so hard on it. “How could you not be disappointed? You do all this work for it,” he said. “At the same time, I was lucky to be able to make the movie I made.”
Despite the mediocre box office De Niro’s happy with the cultural legacy the film enjoys. “Other movies are the same way. With Marty, even ‘Raging Bull,’ you do the movie because you really love it, and you know it’s what you want to do because you feel it has to be done,” he said.
“When it makes a lot of money, that’s great because it’s a kind of validation; a lot of people see it,” De Niro continued. “But at the same time, things become recognized in certain ways. Even today, with Bronx Tale, I enjoyed doing it, and it was a great experience to have been able to do it.”
If you love De Niro’s work, check out our list of the best Robert De Niro movies, and did you know that without De Niro, Leonardo Di Caprio may not have ended up working with Scorsese? Finally, we’ve got a list of all the new movies coming soon in 2024.