Robert De Niro will serve as jury president for the 64th annual Cannes festival (from May 11 to 22). The announcement made on Thursday is evidence that the love affair between France and the US actor is back on.
After being questioned over his possible involvement in a Paris prostitution ring in 1998, a furious Robert De Niro told French daily Le Monde: “I will never return to France”. He would advise his friends against visiting the country, give back his Legion of Honour, and steer clear of the Cannes Film Festival.
“The Cannes Film Festival is a rare opportunity for me, as it is one of the oldest and one of the best in the world”, the famously terse and press-shy De Niro said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the French press responded enthusiastically to the announcement, with Le Figaro critic Jean-Luc Wachtausen saying that the selection of “a living legend of US cinema” was “good news”. “He knows European cinema well, so it’s a real opportunity for Cannes to have him”, Wachtausen assessed, adding “We hope that he’ll choose the winners well”.
Indeed, De Niro is one of the emblematic figures of the “Method” approach (which he studied at New York’s famous “Actors Studio”) through which performers strive for authenticity by trying to conjure their characters’ feelings and emulate their outer appearance both on and off the set. In two of the actor’s most dramatic physical transformations, De Niro packed on 60 pounds as boxer Jake La Motta in Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” and shed all body fat to play a chiselled psychopath in Scorsese’s “Cape Fear”.
Date created : 2011-01-07