Legendary actor claims a British journalist was asking questions with a ‘negative inference’
Robert De Niro has walked out of a junket interview with a British magazine journalist after objecting to what he perceived as a “negative inference” in her questions.
The legendary actor was promoting his latest film The Intern, a generation gap comedy in which he stars opposite Anne Hathaway, when he apparently became aggravated by questions about how he avoids slipping into autopilot during shooting and the growing number of bankers living in his New York neighbourhood.
Emma Brockes reports in this week’s issue of the Radio Times that De Niro asked her to pause her tape recorder and informed her that was halting the interview because of what he called a “negative inference”.
When she asked, “What, about the bankers?!”, De Niro replied, “All the way through. Negative inference,” and then told her, “I’m not doing it. I’m not doing it, darling.”
Asked again to explain what he considered negative, De Niro replied: “The question about being on autopilot – negative inference.”
Later in their exchange, Brockes told the actor, “I have to say, now that you’re going on about it, it makes me think you were on autopilot and you’re super-sensitive about it,” but De Niro simply repeated: “I’m not doing this, darling.”
The actor has yet to respond to Brockes’ write-up of the uncomfortable interview, but the journalist told The Independent today: “I have sympathy with De Niro because nobody wants to be there for these choreographed junket interviews. I was expecting him to be a little quiet but the combination of hostility and condescension irritated me and I ended up losing my cool.
“I certainly didn’t go in looking for an argument but when it happened I did think, ‘at least he’s finally saying something.'”