Robert De Niro chokes up about 'Silver Linings'

05:00 AM, Feb 05, 2013

Robert De Niro at the Oscars nominees lunch Feb. 4 in Beverly Hills. Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images/


Written By by Maria Puente, USA TODAY

That wasn’t an allergy attack Robert De Niro had — those were real tears he shed while promoting his Oscar-nominated movie Silver Linings Playbook with co-star Bradley Cooper and director David O. Russell on Katie.

Russell was telling Katie Couric Monday about how his son, Matthew, has a mood disorder similar to that of Cooper’s character in the movie. Matthew also has a small role in the movie.

When Couric asked De Niro whether his director’s “personal investment” in the movie made him feel greater responsibility, De Niro said, “Of course,” and then he couldn’t speak for several long moments.

I don’t like to get emotional, but I know exactly what (Russell) goes through,” he said, choking up.

If being a great actor means being open to emotion, then De Niro, often referred to as America’s greatest living actor, demonstrated why he may yet win a third Academy Award, for best supporting actor, for his performance as Cooper’s father.

Russell, who credits his son for inspiration in making the movie, said De Niro had been deeply affected just by the script when they met to discuss it at his apartment.

I thought he was having hay fever, and I realized he was having an emotional reaction,” Russell said. “I sat there and watched Robert De Niro cry for 10 minutes and I said, ‘Wow, he’s really connecting with this material, and this would be a beautiful thing if it could work out, because I think his heart would be there.’ And it is there.”