Audiences across the world agree Robert De Niro is one of the greatest actors to ever grace the silver screen. As fun as it is to watch him dish out a tasty monologue or walk in slow motion to the Rolling Stones, it’s just as captivating to watch De Niro play off an equally spectacular actor. Classic Robert De Niro costars like Harvey Keitel and Ray Liotta have appeared in some of the greatest scenes ever, but these are obvious choices. Some of the best Robert De Niro costar performances come from actors you may not associate with De Niro’s filmography. Yes, the best Robert De Niro costars are the actors who know how to let De Niro do his thing without hampering their own pristine talents.
De Niro has appeared alongside some of cinema’s greatest talents. Despite this, there haven’t been many actors who can go toe-to-toe with this God of the silver screen and improve a scene, rather than looking like a kid from a high school play who wandered into the wrong role (Daniel Day-Lewis has this same effect). Whether he’s appearing in a gritty '70s gangster film or a comedy about old people working in an office filled with millennials, De Niro brings something special to the screen, not just through his own work, but by offering co-stars a chance to shine. Vote up the best performances by any of Robert De Niro’s co-stars, and then go get your shine box and vote in our list of Robert De Niro's best movies.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
The Intern should not have been as good as it was. Everything about it lulls you into believing it's going to be a Lifetime movie with a big budget, but the moment De Niro and Hathaway are on screen together, this movie takes off like a rocket. Their chemistry even makes a scene about signing an old man up for Facebook pop. Seriously, Hathaway somehow makes the line, "I just knew that a woman with a glass of wine and a laptop had real shopping potential" work perfectly.Agree or disagree?
- Photo: Columbia Pictures
Pick a movie from Robert De Niro's oeuvre and Harvey Keitel is probably there being very menacing (unless you go back to Mean Streets, in which Keitel was the lead and De Niro the crazy side man).The second time these two legends shared the screen, in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, Keitel played a long-haired pimp in trousers up to his nipples, and the chemistry between the native New Yorkers, Keitel loose and languid, De Niro tense and coiled, is electric. Their repartee in Taxi Driver features the greatest non sequitor ever spoken: "I once had a horse, on Coney Island. She got hit by a car."Agree or disagree?
- Photo: Warner Bros.
At some point in the '90s, Robert De Niro began to play with audience expectations by taking on roles that turned his classic hard man character on its head. Thanks to his willingness to make fun of himself, the world got Analyze This, a gangster movie in which Billy Crystal plays a psychiatrist and straight man to De Niro's crime boss. The film does a great job of showing the average American's simultaneous obsession with and revulsion to violence and tyrants.
When Crystal has De Niro call his nemesis to get closure, things go horribly wrong, after which Crystal deadpans, "It was going great until the cutting off of the balls and shoving them up his... ass."
Also: "There's your f*cking pillow."Agree or disagree?
- Photo: Warner Bros.
Joe Pesci has an uncanny ability to go from warm and magnetic to cold and repulsive on a dime, and be totally convincing at both. Perhaps his greatest master class in sociopathic behavior comes in Goodfellas, in which he steals the movie from star Ray Liotta, and threatens to out perform De Niro. The talents of all three are on fine display in a scene in which Pesci gets insulted at a bar by a fellow mafioso, and De Niro, at his poker-faced best, and Liotta, young and hungry for violence and loyalty, intervene.
That said, if you only ever watch one scene with from Goodfellas or featuring Pesci, make sure it's this one: "What do you mean I'm funny? Funny how? Funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you?"Agree or disagree?