The actor has just become the latest Tinseltown A-lister to have imprints of his hands and feet cemented outside the world-renowned Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard. Known today as the TCL Chinese Theatre, it played host to the ceremony in its courtyard on Monday morning. Whilst not as famous as its illustrious neighbour, The Walk of Fame, it is still considered a prestigious honour (although being immortalised in song by Bananarama takes some beating!).
Clearly in a light-hearted mood during proceedings, the 69-year-old was reminiscent of his stand-up routines from Raging Bull and The King of Comedy: “They say everyone in the film industry has three homes – the home where they live, the home where their first wife lives and Hollywood.”
De Niro has always been known as a big exponent of Method Acting, but for last year’s Silver Linings Playbook, in which he plays a man who is father to a bipolar son, there was already a strong feeling of empathy long before the movie came into being. Director David O. Russell, who was present at Monday’s ceremony, explains: “When we first read the script together he cried because he has known people who have struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder or bipolar disorder… he did bring soul to this movie.”
His portrayal of Pat Sr. in Playbook has earned him an academy award nomination for best supporting actor. In this year’s category De Niro will be up against Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Alan Arkin (Argo) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained). Some stiff competition, but who would fancy their chances against the star of Taxi Driver and Goodfellas?
Some might say that a third Oscar is long overdue for this screen legend – we’ll find out if he adds to his tally on February 24th.