Robert De Niro Breaks Down While Talking About His Gay Dad’s Struggles With Coming Out
Robert De Niro is often mistaken for a hard ass because of the roles he plays in films, so it’s hard to imagine him with a soft side. But that’s exactly what he shows when opening up about his late, gay father, Robert De Niro Sr.
The 70-year-old actor tells his father’s entire story in an HBO documentary entitled Remembering the Artist that premiers on June 9th. In it, De Niro shares his father’s Matisse-style art and reads aloud from his diaries.
In an interview with Out magazine about the documentary, De Niro breaks down in tears as he recounts his father’s struggles with his sexuality.
“He probably was [conflicted] about his homosexuality, being from that generation. Especially from a small town upstate. I was not aware, much, or it. I wish we had spoken about it more. My mother didn’t want to talk about things in general, and you’re not interested when you’re a certain age,” the actor says.
De Niro himself had no misgivings about coming out on behalf of his dad, saying, “I felt I had to. I felt obligated… I thought about it, of course, but if you’re going to do something, you have to do it all the way. You can’t hide anything.”
Despite not living together, the father and son had a close bond. “We were not the type of father and son who played baseball together, as you can surmise. But we had a connection,” he said.
Watch a trailer for the actor’s moving documentary and watch it in full next month on HBO.