Actor Robert De Niro’s long-term association with filmmaker Martin Scorsese has resulted in cult classics like Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Mean Streets and Raging Bull.
The two might be one of the best collaborations in Hollywood history. They are joining forces for the ninth time as actor and director with Netflix's The Irishman.
In a wide-ranging talk at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, the actor-director duo touched on the dynamics of their four-decade long association, how their critical-acclaimed film Raging Bull almost didn't happen and more.
Scorsese revealed that he was hesitant about their 1980 movie Raging Bull, which later earned Best Actor Oscar for De Niro.
The filmmaker said he didn't "understand boxing" and had to realise that it was really about the athlete himself, Jake LaMotta (played by De Niro), rather than the sport.
Scorsese recalled a meeting with Irwin Winkler, one of the film's producers, in which they were joined by two studio executives to discuss the biographical drama.
One of the ‘suits’ asked why they would want to be make a movie about boxer Jake La Motta.
"I didn't (want) to make a film about this guy. This guy is a cockroach,” Scorsese recalled the executive saying. “Your reaction was articulate,” Scorsese told De Niro, “You said, ‘No, he’s not.'” And with that, production moved forward.
However, Scorsese later learned from Winkler that the executives were on their way to shut down the movie. But he and De Niro managed to convince them otherwise.
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