Robert De Niro couldn’t stop himself from taking a dig at Donald Trump at Cannes on Sunday, saying his character in the new film embodied the same “evilness” as the former president.
The legendary actor, 79, stars alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s epic “Killer of the Flower Moon,” which premiered Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews.
He plays a real-life dignitary from 1920s rural America, William Hale, who built trust with the local Osage Indians and then committed dozens of murders to steal their oil-rich land.
“There’s a lot I don’t understand about him — why does he betray them,” De Niro told reporters in Cannes.
“But we became much more aware after the killing of George Floyd with systemic racism and that’s it,” he said, referring to the police killing that sparked the Black Lives Matter protests.
“It’s the triviality of evil, it’s something we have to pay attention to. We all know who I’m going to talk about — I won’t name him,” De Niro continued.
But moments later, the longtime Trump-hater couldn’t hold back.
“It’s like with Trump — I had to say it,” he told reporters to laughter. “There are people who think he might do a good job. Imagine how crazy that is.”
DiCaprio has been particularly praised for his performance as a weak-willed man torn between his love for his Osage Indian wife and the evil conspiracy in which he becomes embroiled.
– ‘Love, Trust and Betrayal’ –
Calling the three-and-a-half-hour film “a reckoning with our past,” the star went on to praise Scorsese, saying: “He’s able to uncover the humanity of even the most warped characters you can imagine.
“Marty’s persistence and toughness in telling the truth, no matter how ugly… is masterful.”
Scorsese said that the film, which is generally scheduled for release in October, was “not a whodunnit – it’s who didn’t do it”.
Adapting the best-selling non-fiction book, he chose to focus less on the criminal investigation that helped create the FBI, instead focusing on the central, toxic love relationship between DiCaprio’s character and his wife, played by Lily Gladstone. like to concentrate.
“It was a blueprint for that tragedy of indigenous people’s love, trust and betrayal,” Scorsese said.
When asked about still taking such risks in his filmmaking at age 80, Scorsese elicited laughter from the crowd by saying: “What else am I going to do?”
De Niro said that the world has seen too many movies where “the good guy goes to the South or Indian country and saves the day. That’s more important.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)