Robert De Niro has made no secret of his hatred for guns and Donald Trump, but as he gears up for the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival he’s releasing his inner Travis Bickle with an update of the 1976 movie “Taxi Driver.”
“Donald Trump, guns, and the gig economy are destroying America,” he said during an interview promoting “Taxi Driver 2: Uber Control.”
“All I do is think of Donald Trump, Uber, guns, and the NRA, and all I want to do is punch them all in the face,” he said. “I’m doing this remake because if I can’t kill them in real life at least I can kill them on film. That’s what actors do. You got a problem with that?”
The comments came during an interview at De Niro’s Tribeca office, before he started ranting about total social control.
“The people I care about are those young people,” he said, referencing the survivors of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. “They’re the future. I’m with them because they feel the way we do, not the way the gun lovers and the NRA do, with all that idiocy to the point of absurdity.”
“It’s crazy how almost anyone can be an NRA member, drive for Uber, or become president,” he said, his voice sounding more and more like Travis Bickle. “Eric Holder said we need to brainwash people into banning guns, but why stop there? Uber is out of control. The executive branch is out of control. Conservatives are out of control. We need to exert über control of America or it will become a fascist state.”
The reboot of “Taxi Driver” will celebrate even more gun violence than the original, he said, all of it aimed at the Donald Trump, Uber, and the NRA. The first plot twist is that Travis Bickle survived the first movie. Now, as a 75-year-old gun control advocate, he takes Parkland survivor David Hogg under his wing.
“I have no problem playing somebody who’s a total lunatic,” said De Niro. “I could play somebody who’s a member of the NRA, but why should I when I can be the man who wouldn’t take it anymore, stand up against the child-killers, the economic vampires, the filth, the shit, the enemies of democracy? I get to be the man who stood up. It doesn’t mean I subscribe to that. But that’s what an actor does.”
He expressed less tolerance for reaching across the aisle to people whose views differed from his own. Asked about how the “Roseanne” reboot is reaching audiences that support Trump, he said, “After we eliminate Uber and Trump, Roseanne is next. It’s all I think about.”