In our ongoing quest for insight into the ever-elusive personality of Robert De Niro, we turned up a couple of nuggets by talking to the cast and crew of his new movie, Stone, at last night’s premiere. Edward Norton told us that when the cameras aren’t rolling, De Niro likes to talk about real estate, restaurants and the best hotels. “I always get good hotel tips from him; the most remote place in the world, you can say what’s the best hotel, and he knows it.” (Norton wouldn’t share any recommendations with the plebians.)
Screenwriter Angus MacLachlan explained De Niro’s reticence: “He’s very, very private; you know, everybody wants something from him, but when he knows that you’re a safe person and you’re not going to leech on him, I found him delightful.” He also noted that De Niro is very loyal. “The people who work with him speak so highly of him. And some of them have been with him, like his trainer has been with him since Raging Bull, for, like 35 years, and they said he’s a great guy.”
So at the age of 67, Robert De Niro brings a personal trainer along with him to movie sets? “I think, like a lot of us, he’s older and he’s got kids and he’s got to stay in shape. So I think, for him, to do the work that he does, the long hours, he works at it. He takes it very seriously,” said director John Curran. “Part of his thing is he gets up very early in the morning, and he works out and then he reads his script. And that’s his process.” Also, we reminded him, De Niro has a nude scene in Stone. “Yeah. I would probably work out too,” said Curran.