If Robert De Niro's appearance at last night's Meryl Streep tribute in New York is any indication, all those haters who ridiculed the actor's agency switch last week might have another thing coming. To wit: De Niro killed. In a cruise-ship comic kind of way, perhaps, and filing through a fistful of index-carded one-liners, but still. This guy may yet pull down $20 million a picture if his timing keeps up, and he wasted no time soliciting his former co-star Streep to join him — if only someone at CAA would return his calls. Zing! Catch our exclusive video and a few more outtakes from De Niro's repertoire after the jump.
De Niro joked that by the time the Film Society of Lincoln Center invited him to speak at its annual gala tribute, the program was already filled out and he should just contribute some anecdotes. "But I don't have any!" he complained to his Deer Hunter co-star, seated with Mike Nichols, Robert Redford, Amy Adams, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken and other luminaries in a box above the stage. "I don't have any details of fun things you used to do. We didn't go to the high school prom together, though that would have been fun. I don't think we ever sneaked into [Deer Hunter director] Michael Cimino's trailer to play a practical joke. That could have been fun, too. I don't remember sleeping together, but..." De Niro shrugged.
Oh, snap! He was unstoppable. "It was nice to see that clip from The Deer Hunter, though I was kind of hoping they'd show Marvin's Room or Falling in Love because I'm pretty sure most of you haven't seen them." Pow! Zing! "That's OK, though — Meryl and I will be selling DVD's in the lobby after the show.
"I was very fortunate to be in these three films with Meryl, which means I'm in every 60 or show movies that she does.
"I was honored that the organizers of this event asked me to say a few words, though I did notice they waited until I had already bought a ticket."
De Niro later recalled first seeing Streep on-stage in The Cherry Orchard, which led to him and Cimino recruiting her for The Deer Hunter. Then he got on another roll; we figured we should probably film this one.
"Meryl was wonderful," he said. "She's just wonderful. And I would do anything to be in another movie with her. That brings me to another [thing]: There's a great part for a Meryl Streep-type in a new movie I might be doing. Meryl, your agent isn't returning my calls. They warned me there would be consequences for leaving CAA. So I thought maybe if we talked after the show? I don't know if the ticket I bought gets me into the after party, so if I don't see you later, let me tell you how proud I am to be here tonight." But no prouder than your new family at Endeavor is today, Bobby! Way to knock 'em dead!