De Niro’s gang­ster ethos

The Week (US) - - News -

Robert De Niro has made it clear he’s no fan of Pres­i­dent Trump, said Michael Schul­man in The New Yorker. Over the past two years, De Niro—famously a man of few words—has called the com­man­der in chief a “punk,” “pig,” “bozo,” “id­iot,” “na­tional dis­as­ter,” and more. Those pub­lic con­dem­na­tions ex­plain why the 75-year-old ac­tor was one of the 13 prom­i­nent Trump crit­ics and Democrats sent pipe bombs last year by a mil­i­tant sup­porter of the pres­i­dent. De Niro wasn’t sur­prised to get a bomb in the mail. “The state of the coun­try is so ter­ri­ble now, with a per­son who has set such a bad ex­am­ple of bad be­hav­ior,” he says. “So what are you gonna do?” De Niro de­spairs that many Amer­i­cans see Trump as a role model for as­sertive, un­apolo­getic mas­culin­ity. “It’s through some deep in­se­cu­rity that he ac­tu­ally be­haves the way he does.” To be a true man, he says, “you gotta be sen­si­tive. You gotta have em­pa­thy.” He be­lieves that Trump, a fel­low New Yorker, wants to be like the gang­sters and tough guys De Niro has played on screen. But Trump “even gives gang­sters a bad name, ’cause a gang­ster will give you his word. He doesn’t even un­der­stand that kind of logic. He thinks he’s a mob­ster. He’s a mutt.”

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