Robert De Niro is a fabulous actor, but an equally difficult subject for a caricature. I disagree with my dear blog-friend and fantasy writer Barb‘s opinion that it must be easy to make his caricature. It isn’t. At least, it wasn’t for me – despite the fact that usually it’s quite easy for me to caricature most people.
Let me explain. De Niro’s eyes have a sparkle that make them look like he were making fun of you – and if you want to draw the real De Niro, this look has to be combined with the over-all maturity of his personality. It isn’t easy. You need to really walk a tightrope. A little more of this and he begins to look like a clown, a little more of that, you turn him into someone who’s never smiled in his life.
My favorite De Niro performances are in the roles of Max Cady and Vito Corleone. Yet I chose to caricature a not-so-young-not-so-old De Niro, because I wanted the caricature to be a visual bridge between his past and present looks.
Okay, it’s time to unveil the drawing 🙂
When an actor transform himself into the character that he has to portray for his role the Robert De Niro does, you begin to feel that those characters and their descriptions are closer to his biography than his real life’s story. So, in a daring move, the Caricaturist breaks away from the established tradition of beginning the post with a short biography. Instead, she talks about the characters that he played.
The Most Memorable Characters played by Robert De Niro
In the movie, The Godfather II, he portrays the young self of Don Corleone played by Marlon Brando. He won an academy award for his performance in the movie and yes, he had traveled to Sicily and stayed there to “become” a Sicilian for the movie.
In Cape Fear, he plays the revengeful, tattooed psychopath, Max Cady, who makes you sit at the edge of your seat, ready to take off if he stepped out of the screen and lunged towards you.
In Heat, he starred opposite Al Pacino (another titan of Hollywood, who I must sketch soon.) In this movie he played the role of Neil McCauley, a psychologically disturbed bank-robber and a medium-gray character.
Travis Bickle the Taxi Driver is a social misfit. Travis begins to fantasize about cleaning the “filth on the streets.” In the role of Travis Bickle, he immortalized the lines, “You talkin’ to me?”
Now a quick snap-shot of his life.
Robert De Niro’s Biography
He was born on August 17, 1943. His parents were both artists. His dad, true to his artistic persona, had a colorful lifestyle (why do you think artists become artists – it’s the glamor of the creative license, more than anything else, which leads them to recklessly plunge into the artistic waters!) This perhaps drove a wedge between his mom and dad – yet Bobby remained close to his dad. He caught the acting bug when he was quite young (that’s the time you catch most bugs – I too remember catching the drawing bug when I was quite young.) One thing led to another and then he got that memorable role, which established him as the one and only Godfather of Hollywood – He became the younger self of Don Corleone. You know the rest.
Read more about Robert De Niro at the following links:
- Biography at IMDB
- Biography at Wikipedia
- Recent News – The white first lady joke controversy
- Robert De Niro at Rotten Tomatoes
- De Niro’s Best Movies (Source: Rotten Tomatoes here.)
List of Robert De Niro’s Best Movies from Rotten Tomatoes (Primarily for my own reference :))
1. GoodFellas — 96%
2. The Godfather, Part II — 96%
3. Taxi Driver — 93%
4. Heat — 92%
5. Raging Bull — 92%
6. Once Upon a Time in America — 92%
7. Casino — 91%
8. The Deer Hunter — 91%
9. Brazil — 89%
10. A Bronx Tale — 89%
(Source: Rotten Tomatoes.)