Robert De Niro, or Bobby, as his friends and anyone who worked with him calls him, is an actor who has stayed vigilant for most of his acting career (some say 2002 was the year he stopped caring about acting, I’ll save that for another post).
My favorite De Niro movie is 1995’s Heat. In Heat the impossible happened: he co-starred alongside one of the other GOATs of acting, Al Pacino. That would be the only movie they’ve ever been in where they share a scene.
But long before Heat, DeNiro was in Taxi Driver, directed by Martin Scorsese. As with all his roles in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, he took it seriously.
He actually got a taxicab driver’s license (via NYTimes):
To prepare for his 1976 role as Travis Bickle, a haunted, lonely Vietnam veteran turned New York cabby, De Niro spent a little over a week actually driving a taxi. This was just after he had won an Academy Award for “The Godfather Part II,” and one passenger recognized him and commented that things must be especially tough for actors if an Oscar winner was trying to earn money driving a cab. The license is another piece of the collection that illuminates his dedication to character and the lengths he goes to fully inhabit another life.
To what lengths have you gone to be great in your career? To what extremes have you gone to get a job? How seriously do you take what you do?