Robert De Niro Talks About His Gay Artist Father
This is very sad. Robert De Niro's father, was a painter. He separated from De Niro's mother when he was 2 years-old. Rober De Niro Sr. could not find happiness in his lifetime because of the stigma against homosexuality during his lifetime. The younger De Niro reads from his father's journal. The journal entries show the elder De Niro to be very lonely and feeling as though he will never find love. From a journal entry by De Niro Sr.
Being a painter is an affection like being a homosexual. One had to have the strength to continue working without the thought of recognition even before or after death, just as one had to have the strength to accept life alone without the thought of a romantic attachment.The documentary Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr. will air on HBO. De Niro explained to Out why he made this documentary about his father.
Q: I think people may be curious because, in a way, you are coming out for your father. He may not have been hiding his lifestyle or who he was, but it’s not something that is common knowledge. I felt I had to. I felt obligated. It was my responsibility to make a documentary about him. I was always planning on doing it, but never did. Then Jane Rosenthal, my partner at Tribeca [Enterprises], said, “We should start doing that now.” It was not intended to be on HBO. It was just something I wanted to do. De Niro: I had footage from a guy who used to follow my father around in the ’70s. We started with that. I bought it from him and gave the footage to Thelma Schoonmaker, who was Marty Scorsese’s editor. I asked her what she could do with it, and she assembled it and put it together — it was falling apart. Then we started the documentary [with director Perri Peltz], really working, using pieces that would make sense. My original idea was to do it for the kids, about my father — whatever it would be. I didn’t know how long it would be. The thing with HBO is, I felt they would be objective about certain things. I said, “Let’s see what we come up with.”Conservatives say they do not discriminate against gays. If you tell gay people that God does not approve of them or that they do not have the right to marry than how do you expect gay people to feel. De Niro Sr. lived through a time when anti-gay public service announcements were made. Update: Katie Couric interviews De Niro about his father.