Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese Reflects On Their 50-Year Friendship, Reveals They Knew Each Since They Were Teens

Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese, known for their 50-year partnership in Hollywood, shared about their deep-rooted friendship since their teenage years in a recent PEOPLE magazine article.

Published on Feb 11, 2024  |  11:21 AM IST |  37.2K
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Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese (Getty)

Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese recently opened up about their partnership that goes 50 years back. The actor-director duo is known in Hollywood for their strong and deep-rooted professional and personal friendship. In a new issue of PEOPLE magazine, De Niro recalled that he has known Scorsese since they were teenagers.

Robert De Niro says he has known Martin Scorsese for 50 years

Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese enjoy a professional relationship and personal friendship that goes back five decades, and they both express their deep respect for each other in the new issue of PEOPLE.

“I’ve always said, [I’m] very lucky to have started working with Marty in my late 20s and done all these projects together,” says De Niro, who has made 10 feature-length films with Scorsese starting with 1973’s Mean Streets.

ALSO READ: Was Robert De Niro's THIS Iconic line Improvised? Martin Scorsese Gets Candid

Their latest collaboration, Killers of the Flower Moon, is nominated for 10 Oscars, including individual nods for both of them, Best Supporting Actor for De Niro and Best Director for Scorsese.


The two men both grew up in New York City. “We knew each other when we were teenagers,” says De Niro. But they didn’t truly connect at the time.

“We finally met at Christmas dinner years later and I saw Who's That Knocking [at My Door], and I said, ‘That was a really terrific movie,’ ” recalls De Niro, referring to Scorsese’s 1965 film. “He said, ‘I have the script.’ And Mean Streets was at that time called Season of the Witch, and so that's how it started.”

They made Taxi Driver(1976), New York, New York(1977), Raging Bull(1980), The King of Comedy(1982), Goodfellas(1990), Cape Fear(1991), Casino(1995), The Irishman(2019) and Killers of the Flower Moon(2023). They also made a comedic short film called The Audition.

De Niro said that after working together for so many years, the two have a shorthand in some ways. “I always say this, he's good with everyone. He allows people to do what they can do best and then he'll direct from there.”

“He has very clear ideas but knows not to impose anything and let the people just feel free enough to be expressed as much as they can through whatever they're doing,” he continues.

Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese (Getty)

Martin Scorsese is impressed by Robert De Niro’s dedication

to taking on whatever role he’s playing, whether it’s gaining 60 lbs. to play boxer Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, or learning to speak the Osage language in Killers of the Flower Moon, the true story of Indigenous people in 1920s Oklahoma who were murdered by White people for their oil-rich land.

“When Bob commits to a role, he starts digging in with research, questions about absolutely everything, from what the character wears to what he eats for breakfast,” said Scorsese about De Niro. “The search and the discoveries never stop. He really did fall in love with the language as he went along — at one point, he said that he wanted to do most of his lines in Osage!” he continues.

When asked what he treasured the most about his friendship with De Niro, Scorsese points to its enduring nature. "At this point, I treasure the sheer longevity, the shared experience and knowledge,” he says. “The trust. The love. And also, the desire to explore together, to go further.”

ALSO READ: Killer of the Flower Moon: Director Martin Scorsese says 'I had to make it into a movie' expressing excitement to work with Leonardo DiCaprio

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