In a new interview with gay glossy Out,
actor-director Robert De Niro says his father was probably conflicted
about being gay.
In the HBO documentary Remembering
the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr., De Niro, 70, talks about his
father's legacy as an artist.
The senior De Niro, who died in 1993 in
New York at the age of 71, was an abstract expressionist painter of
the post-World War II era.
Remembering the Artist documents
the life of the painter through his son's eyes.
De Niro told Out that the point
of the project was to tell the truth. “That's what people are
attracted to. I should have done this 10 yeas earlier, but I'm glad
I did it now.”
“[Y]our father said he felt like
being an artist was an 'affliction,' and he thought being gay was a
sort of affliction. Do you think he was conflicted about his life's
passion?” Out asked.
“About his homosexuality? Yeah, he
probably was, being from that generation, especially from a small
town upstate,” De Niro answered. “I was not aware, much, of it.
I wish we had spoken about it much more. My mother didn’t want to
talk about things in general, and you’re not interested when you’re
a certain age. Again, for my kids, I want them to stop and take a
moment and realize that you sometimes have to do things now instead
of later, because later may be 20 years from now – and that’s too