Robert De Niro has criticised Donald Trump as a “dirty player” and said “he won’t get away with it forever”.
The actor offered his thoughts on the US president during a screen talk reflecting on his career at the BFI London Film Festival.
Discussing the second film he directed, The Good Shepherd, in which Matt Damon plays a founding member of the CIA, De Niro said he has a new perspective on the intelligence agencies in the current political climate.
He said: “My thing was that basically like anything, CIA, KGB, FSB, there are always people in the same profession who cannot tell each other certain things but if a deal can be made it will be made. We all know that.
“Today, everything has been turned upside down because of Trump, because he is such a dirty player that it’s amazing to me that he has just upended it and is getting away with it.
“He won’t get away with it forever but he’s getting away with it, saying these things about every institution that we have to defend these institutions, plus the fourth estate, the press, because he’s trying to destroy them for one reason, to save himself.”
He added: “We all know this and it’s pretty disgusting. We have Republicans who are so afraid to do anything, to stand up.
“They could stand up and be stars in their own community and stand up and be very vocal, and I don’t know why they don’t do that, certain senators could pull out and say ‘I can’t be in this administration, I have to speak out, we have to to right this wrong’.”
De Niro said making The Good Shepherd provided a number of logistical challenges, and also prevented him from taking a role in Martin Scorsese’s film The Departed, for which the director won an Oscar.
He said: “It was hard to get the finance done. At first I had Leo DiCaprio, then Leo couldn’t do it because he was doing The Departed with Marty and it just so conflicted with my schedule.
“I was on that ship, on that train, and couldn’t get off it because everything was already set up and if it stopped I wouldn’t be able to rev it up again, I would have lost all momentum.
“I wanted to be in The Departed, Marty offered me that part, but I couldn’t do it either, I had to do the film.”
De Niro also addressed how he thinks technological advances will change acting as his new film The Irishman sees him digitally de-aged to portray a much younger version of himself.
He said: “The technological stuff can only go so far, it’s not going to change other things, and if it does to such a point, it becomes something that is not what a person is, what a human is.
“It could be another type of entertainment, a comic book strip, comic book character type of things, cartoon stuff, but people, that won’t change, I don’t see how that can change.”
The Irishman will be the closing gala of the BFI London Film Festival on October 13 and will be simulcast in cinemas around the UK.
It will be released in limited UK cinemas on November 1 before streaming on Netflix on November 29.