The Academy Award-winning actor, who has been a part of many iconic movies, recently gave an exclusive to PEOPLE. He talked about those first interactions with Leonardo DiCaprio and how they kicked off a more than three-decade-long career in the business.
De Nasio, for his part, remembered their first meeting at a reading for the 1993 film "This Boy's Life" and said he "knew" DiCaprio was "talented" right away. "So I said to Art Linson, 'That kid was really interesting.' I didn't push.
I just said, 'That kid had something special,' and then they turned around and wound up using Leo," said the now 80-year-old icon.
Dynamic Duo's Evolution
Both of them shared some on-screen chemistry, which was a cinematic goldmine for the pairing to happen again in 1996 in the movie "Marvin's Room," this time with Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep.
Fast-forward to today, and their latest film together, "Killers of the Flower Moon," helmed by Martin Scorsese, is already in the can and, right now, counting among the most anticipated movies of the year—tipped by critics to go big and compete for ten Academy Awards, including the one for Best Picture.
De Niro, nominated for Best Supporting Actor, received a lot of praise for his work as Hale, a role he has described as "the embodiment of the banality of evil." "He's pretty bad. But again, it's what's called the banality of evil, and the way I interpret that is.these evil things that he does, he doesn't think are evil.
So it's one of the most insidious, I guess, characters," De Niro explained. "He's…like a pillar of the community, and then doing these other underhanded things. It's baffling to me because I don't understand it," he concluded.
The exploration in depth of complex characters was something characteristic of the whole magnificent career of De Niro. His perspectives revealed not only how deep an artist he was but also a lot about the dynamics and the changes the Hollywood star collaborations had gone through.