We all know Robert De Niro as a tough guy, but it turns out he's a big softie as well. The actor has made a documentary about his late father, Robert De Niro Sr., who lived openly as a gay man, and gets emotional talking about it in an interview with OUT magazine, at times shaking and sobbing.
On "coming out" for his father through the upcoming documentary:
I felt I had to. I felt obligated. It was my responsibility to make a documentary about him. I was always planning on doing it, but never did. Then Jane Rosenthal, my partner at Tribeca [Enterprises], said, 'We should start doing that now.' It was not intended to be on HBO. It was just something I wanted to do.
On his father's confliction about his homosexuality:
About his homosexuality? Yeah, he probably was, being from that generation, especially from a small town upstate. I was not aware, much, of it. I wish we had spoken about it much more. My mother didn't want to talk about things in general, and you're not interested when you're a certain age. Again, for my kids, I want them to stop and take a moment and realize that you sometimes have to do things now instead of later, because later may be 20 years from now — and that's too late.
On whether his father's homosexuality caused him to shy away from certain roles:
No, they weren't offered to me. If they had been offered to me by a good director, that's something I would have considered.
Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr. premieres June 9 on HBO.