July 25, 2021

The economic and professional debacle of Robert de Niro | People

Robert de Niro is not going through his best moments. The covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on his finances because two of the actor’s main sources of income, cinema and gastronomy, have been seriously affected. De Niro owns one of the most fashionable restaurant and hotel chains in the United States and part of Europe, Nobu, whose activity and profit have been reduced by the health crisis. A scenario similar to that suffered by the cultural sector since the coronavirus broke out just over a year ago. To this must be added the legal battle he has had with his ex-wife, Grace Hightower, since 2018, which places him on the brink of bankruptcy.

Her supposed high lifestyle and the prenuptial agreement for which she had to pay him a million dollars a year after their separation – a figure that De Niro has cut almost in half citing liquidity problems – could have forced the actor to accept jobs on screen that aren’t always to her liking, her lawyer recently said. “Mr. De Niro is 77 years old, and while he loves his trade, he shouldn’t be forced to work at this prodigious rate. When will that end? When will you have a chance to maybe not take all the projects that come your way? Or not work six days a week for 12 hours a day simply to quench Miss Hightower’s thirst for Stella McCartney? ”Argued Caroline Krauss during a virtual hearing in the divorce process being settled in Manhattan.

Although the defense of the former wife of the Hollywood star doubts that his accounts are at such a dramatic point, it is a certainty that maintaining his status has meant a professional debacle for Robert De Niro. Considered the best actor of his generation and a Hollywood legend, the interpreter has spent years focused on projects that, in the eyes of critics and viewers, are damaging his image and his film legacy. In the last 10 years he has made 26 films and 19 have been ridiculed by experts or outright ignored by the public.

Far is his glorious past in Taxi Driver, The Godfather. Part ii, Wild bull o The hunter, since for two decades the actor has been committed to comedy that, despite being more profitable, its success does not always reach the seats. In 2000 he starred in the highest grossing film of his career, Her parents, and most of the nearly 100 million it cost to produce its two sequels (His parents Y Now the parents are them) were intended to pay for their cache, as well as to pay very well to Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand. Then came other titles in which he parodied himself with references to his most celebrated roles, as happened in the children’s comedy The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, where he emulated his iconic scene from Taxi Driver wondering in front of a mirror: “Are you talking to me?”; and in the most recent At war with my grandfather, where the grandson leaves a snake on the bed as if it were that horse’s head from The Godfather.

Robert de Niro, in a sequence of ‘Her parents’ (2010).

Back then, there was talk that the two-time Oscar winner accepted his projects guided by money, and not just on the big screen. He opened the doors to the world of advertising and did not mind lending his image if he was paid well, whether it was to promote a car of the Kia brand or to advertise the products of the Warburtons brand, a bakery company for which according to The Times got to charge “a sum of six figures” for just a few minutes of filming. “I met the owner and I thought it would be fun,” he acknowledged of his involvement. A few years earlier, he had already made ten million euros for starring in an advertisement for a Philippine casino run by Scorsese. “He has two main criteria when choosing projects: that he likes the director or the actors, even if the script is weak, and the money. His economic situation is comfortable, but he has many fixed expenses ”, indicated one of his partners to the New York Post. But his greed ended up playing tricks on him and in 2016 he hit rock bottom with Dirty Grandpa, where he plays a widowed man who only seeks to satisfy his sexual desires. The collection was good, but the critics raged with what they considered a humiliating role and the lowest point of his filmography.

To maintain his standard of living, De Niro appears to be willing to work three times as long and accept whatever is offered. Also because, according to his lawyer, he has to pay a lot of taxes. Something true if one takes into account that, apart from restaurants and luxury hotels, he owns several buildings in the New York neighborhood of Tribeca (where he has directed a film festival since 2002), an American football team, a brand of vodka and a fashion line. And, in addition, he has six children (the result of four relationships) and four grandchildren to whom he wants to leave a good inheritance.

But it’s not all bad news, with The Irish Y JokerBoth in 2019, Robert de Niro once again conquered the public and critics, who are waiting with anticipation for his next films, such as the one he is preparing again with Scorsese, The killers of the flower moon, (about murders in an Indian community of oil tycoons in Oklahoma in the 1920s), which also stars Leonardo DiCaprio and begins filming later this month. The film will represent the second appearance, after Once upon a time in hollywoodby DiCaprio in six years. A philosophy, that of taking time away from the screen, that De Niro does not seem to want to contemplate. At least as long as you still need liquidity.