Always curmudgeon-y and awkward Robert De Niro shut down an interview with Radio Times journalist Emma Brockes. Before walking out, De Niro allegedly told Brockes, “I’m not doing this, darling.”
The interview was on the press-junket tour for De Niro’s upcoming trudge through mediocrity, the dramedy The Intern. The Independent detailed what led to the actor ending the interview:
Appearing “depressed”, the actor delivered some perfunctory opening answers, albeit “glumly”. But the Oscar-winner bridled when his inquisitor, Emma Brockes, asked how he resists the temptation to go into “autopilot” mode on set, followed by her observation that the Tribeca district of New York, where De Niro co-founded a film festival, has been taken over by bankers.
It was here where De Niro asked Brockes to stop the tape recorder and decided to end the interview. “He then pops up out of his chair, starts pacing madly and says he’s cutting short the interview because of the “negative inference,” wrote Brockes. To her credit, Brockes did not back down from De Niro, pushing the question regarding bankers taking over his festival. De Niro would have none of it. Nor would Brockes, who wrote:
“His jaw is working and he looks wildly around the room as if in search of a window to jump through. ‘I’m not doing this, darling,’ he says. ‘I think you’re very condescending.’ ‘Oh, you think ‘darling’ is condescending?’”
Following the extended back and forth, Brockes wrote her own statement:
“I have sympathy with De Niro because nobody wants to be there for these choreographed junket interviews. I was expecting him to be a little quiet but the combination of hostility and condescension irritated me and I ended up losing my cool. I certainly didn’t go in looking for an argument but when it happened I did think ‘at least he’s finally saying something.’”
Robert De Niro has never been the best at interviews. He has never seemed comfortable or willing to divulge details or discuss his work. Especially in recent years, when his work has been, as Brockes notes, “on autopilot,” save for a few performances here and there. That being said, De Niro is 72-years old, he’s made dozens and dozens of films, and he knows what the deal is when it comes to promotion.