Movies

'Family' star Robert De Niro: a man of great talent, few words, no memoir

Sep. 13, 2013 at 9:51 AM ET

Legendary film actor Robert De Niro has a reputation as a man of few words. And as TODAY's Matt Lauer learned on Friday, the just-turned-70-year-old doesn't plan to change that any time soon.

Lauer noted that De Niro's character Giovanni in his new film "The Family" writes a memoir, and asked, "Have you ever thought about that?"

"I have thought of it," said the actor. "It's not that easy really.... I don't know where I would start."

Not that he'd have to dig too deep for lots of great fodder; De Niro has had a storied career that includes two Oscars and extensive work with director Martin Scorsese on films like "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas." But he says that would make it actually harder to start this theoretical memoir.

"There are so many things that I have ... ways to look at it," he said. "I only thought maybe of doing a movie about not my life but things that I understood ... not really autobiographical but stuff I relate to, that I can connect to. Because when you do things, it's got to be connected to something (so) that you can make it personal."

De Niro is continuing to add to his long resume with "The Family" (in which he stars alongside Michelle Pfeiffer), plus the upcoming buddy comedy "Last Vegas" and "Grudge Match," which will pair him alongside Sylvester Stallone in a film that's been dubbed "'Raging Bull' Meets 'Rocky.'"

Still, for all of his long and storied (if not memoir-ed) career, De Niro says he tries not to seem aloof on a set, despite the fact that he may be working with worshipful actors decades his junior.

"If there is that (attitude) at all, I always like to make people feel at ease," he said. "That stuff goes away quickly... Just be nice, and put them at ease, that's all you need to do."

"The Family" opens in theaters today, Friday Sept. 13.

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