TODAY | March 14, 2012
>> to robert de niro . yeah, robert de niro is on the couch. big time oscar winner stars in "being flynn" playing a man who drinks too much, spends time in prison and abandons his family until his son tries to reconnect. good to see you.
>> how are you?
>> kind of a guy at odds with himself, this character. why do you like him?
>> i liked paul white , the director and screenwriter, adapter, if you will, of the book. i liked his intensity about it. his passion, if you will. it's a word i can't stand is, but he has a personal reason for wanting to do the movie. if somebody has that kind of feeling already to me, you know, you're 70% there. plus what i have seen in paul's other work, i knew it was going to be special. not necessarily that it would be something i would be going after or try to develop. but with him, being at the helm, if you will, i would say this would be worth doing.
>> is it true you get back behind the wheel of a taxi in this movie?
>> as part of the character?
>> that must have been interesting. you probably haven't driven a taxi since "taxi".
>> " taxi driver ," right.
>> that must have been fun.
>> that was something else.
>> the movie is a memoir based on the book by nick flynn about this estranged father-son relationship.
>> you, as a father of six kids now, what did you take away from doing this?
>> well, the father, his father is kind of a guy that in some ways i don't understand. because he's totally abandoned in a sense, self-involved.
>> and homeless.
>> becomes homeless eventually. to me it's somebody who's been avoiding his whole life what he wants to do which is to be a great writer. not just a writer, but a great writer. he deludes himself into thinking he is. of course, he's not. and the whole thing is that the son does carry that mantel, if you will. that's the nice thing about it.
>> you disappear into characters and you disappear into this guy. you went into the greenwich hotel downtown as the homeless character and security was called because they thought there was a homeless man in the hotel. you were confronted. and the funny part is you own that hotel. that had to create -- how did you like seeing the hotel operate from that side of things?
>> you know, i didn't blame the security. they didn't want me in. i said, i wouldn't want somebody like myself in there either.
>> but they are still employed.
>> coming up, you have the tribeca film festival on the way. you're busy. nice of you to take time for us this morning.
>> thank you.
>> lots of good buzz.
>> "being flynn" opens nationwide friday.