Hollywood icon Robert De Niro copes with star-struck co-stars, telling them “call me Bob,” he said Friday at the world premiere of his latest movie “Stone” at the Toronto film festival.
“I think he was a little intimidated by me,” his co-star in the film Milla Jovovich quipped.
In reality, it was the opposite. But “Robert asked me to call him Bob (during filming), which I thought was awesome, I’m one of the few people that gets to call Mr. De Niro, Bob,” she told a press conference.
“Everyone calls me Bob,” De Niro whispered in the background.
Director John Curran’s film “Stone” features De Niro as an unforgiving, hardened parole officer who is confronted by the young wife (Milla Jovovich) of convicted arsonist Gerald Creeson (Edward Norton) during a parole review.
Frances Conroy also stars in the film as De Niro’s wife, with whom he is distant and threatening.
“When you’re with people and you’re working with them, (the admiration) goes away pretty fast, you’ve gotta work together, so really, you know, I don’t know, it goes away. It has to,” De Niro commented.
“If anything, my job is to make sure, to help people if they are really nervous that we have to get past that and do what’s needed for the scene, or whatever, or maybe use it for the scene,” he explained.
Has it ever happened to De Niro to be star-struck, asked a reporter.
“(Do) you mean has he ever intimidated himself?” quipped Norton seated at his side.
“Yeah, that I’ve done,” said De Niro with a smile.
De Niro, who is often described as one of the greatest actors of his time, having won two Oscars for “Raging Bull” (1980) and “The Godfather Part II” (1974), has never himself been in awe of others, he insists.
“Certain actors when I was younger I’d meet, I was impressed with them, I remember I worked with Robert Mitchum, and when I met Brando, and Ed (Norton) ... he was so smart and clever that it was a joy to talk with him, and he liked to talk a lot too. He was great. But I wasn’t intimidated. I was impressed.”