The two Hollywood film icons have been friends since they were 16
In a conversation with Stephen Colbert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Friday, Scorsese, 80, told the late-night host how he and De Niro, 80, recently enjoyed a special moment of reflection together.
“I was saying at his 80th birthday party that we allowed ourselves about 60 seconds at Cannes,” Scorsese said, referring to the duo’s time at the Cannes Film Festival in May, promoting Killers of the Flower Moon.
“At night, after the film a few months ago, we had some champagne, and we leaned back, and the pool was down there, and the hotel we had was very beautiful. There were spotlights, and the sky, and the stars. And he looked at me and leaned back, and he said, ‘Would you believe, in 50 years, where we are?’ ” Scorsese recalled. “He couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘Let’s have a little sip.’ ”
The Academy Award-winning director added of his decades-long friendship with De Niro, “He had this strange trust. But I think, somehow, we found that we felt very similar about our situation.”
During his conversation with Colbert, 59, Scorsese also talked about the role his pal played in convincing him to make Raging Bull.
He said he “had gone through an absolute crazy period” and “almost didn't come out alive, but finally De Niro comes in the hospital and tells me, ‘Come on, Marty.’ ”
Scorsese continued, “When it happened, I made Taxi Driver, and New York, New York unfortunately didn't do well, and I found it very difficult to find if I could ever be excited again about making a film, and I started becoming depressed and going through all kinds of issues, and finally, I almost died basically.”
De Niro “kept pushing” for the 1980 film to be made, though, and Scorsese said he credits the actor for it to this day.
The Hollywood legends’ close friendship began with 1973’s Mean Streets, but neither one of them could have imagined they would be where they now are — and still be by each other’s side.
“I consider myself very lucky to have that long of a relationship with him,” De Niro told PEOPLE in 2020 of his friendship with Scorsese. “I can’t imagine my life without it.”
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“Marty is very sensitive about people and actors," he continued. "He takes what actors give him and uses it. He is aware and well-informed about things and likes to read stuff. Directors have to be well-rounded in many facets of life. He’s really great.”
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