‘De­pressed’ De Niro backs anti-Trump protests

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Robert De Niro gave anti-Don­ald Trump pro­test­ers across the United States his back­ing Fri­day as he spoke about how “de­pressed” the ty­coon’s win in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion had made him. The 73-year-old star was on the red carpet at the world pre­miere of his new film “The Co­me­dian” in Los An­ge­les when he was asked how he was cop­ing with Trump’s vic­tory over Demo­cratic ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton. “How am I do­ing? I’m very de­pressed,” the fa­mously la­conic “Rag­ing Bull” ac­tor told re­porters. “We have to just wait and see how things go and keep our eyes ever vig­i­lant on the new gov­ern­ment.”

Asked if he thought the protests were an ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse to the out­come of Tues­day’s elec­tion, he replied: “Yes, ab­so­lutely. Things aren’t be­ing done right.” Demon­stra­tors took to the streets in Mi­ami, Los An­ge­les, New York and other US cities for a third straight night on Fri­day. In Man­hat­tan, they held signs read­ing “Your Wall Can’t Stand in Our Way” - a ref­er­ence to the anti-im­mi­gra­tion bar­rier the bil­lion­aire has promised to build on the US bor­der with Mex­ico. De Niro hasn’t minced his words in his crit­i­cism of Trump, de­scrib­ing him as “a punk”, “a pig” and “an idiot”. “I’d like to punch him in the face,” he said be­fore the elec­tion.

Ear­lier in the day a town in south­ern Italy where De Niro’s grand­par­ents came from of­fered the ac­tor a means of escape. “If, af­ter the dis­ap­point­ment of Trump, he wants to take refuge here, we are ready to wel­come him,” said An­to­nio Ce­rio, the mayor of Fer­raz­zano. “The Co­me­dian,” De Niro’s pas­sion project which took him eight years to bring to the big screen, was part of this year’s pro­gram for the Amer­i­can Film In­sti­tute’s annual AFI Fest in Los An­ge­les.

‘Be a Man’

The New Yorker stars as an ag­ing stand-up comic looking to re­vive his once suc­cess­ful ca­reer with one last shot at the big time. Guests at the screen­ing in­cluded De Niro’s co-stars Danny De Vito and Les­lie Mann, as well as the movie’s di­rec­tor Tay­lor Hack­ford and his wife, the Bri­tish film star Helen Mir­ren. Mir­ren com­plained, tongue in cheek, that her hus­band of 19 years was “not par­tic­u­larly” funny de­spite di­rect­ing a film full of jokes.

“He re­fuses to laugh at my jokes, which I find very an­noy­ing. But it’s a look at the world of com­edy and the world of com­edy is ac­tu­ally not a very funny world,” the 71year-old said. “Al­though it’s got a lot of jokes in it, it’s quite a se­ri­ous world.” Hack­ford, who di­rected “An Of­fi­cer and a Gen­tle­man” in 1982, echoed De Niro’s thoughts on Trump, call­ing on the pres­i­dent-elect to “stand up and be a man.”

He praised his star for demon­strat­ing the same commitment in learn­ing how to be a con­vinc­ing stand-up as he had in trans­form­ing into a pass­able boxer for “Rag­ing Bull”. “I took him to com­edy clubs two to three times a week we’d see five, six, seven comics a night - looking for him to choose a style,” Hack­ford, 71, said. “And once he did, he dove into this process. He had to sub­merge. The fact is he’s got to get up on stage alone with a mi­cro­phone like a comic does and play to a real au­di­ence.”“The Co­me­dian” gets its gen­eral re­lease in the United States on Jan 13. AFI Fest, which runs un­til Thurs­day next week, shows many of the movies con­sid­ered fron­trun­ners for Os­cars glory. — AFP

Les­lie Mann and Robert De Niro at­tend the press room at the 2016 Hol­ly­wood Film Awards at the Bev­erly Hil­ton on Nov 6, 2016 in Bev­erly Hills, Cal­i­for­nia. — AP

A lo­cal res­i­dent looks at flow­ers set up out­side the sum­mer house of late Cana­dian singer-song­writer and poet Leonard Co­hen on the Greek is­land of Hy­dra yes­ter­day.

An­dreas Duskos holds a cat­a­logue bear­ing a pic­ture of Co­hen and a poem he wrote ded­i­cated to the tav­ern at a tav­ern Co­hen used to go on Hy­dra. — AFP pho­tos

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