NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 01:  Robert De Niro and Chazz Palminteri attend the Broadway Opening Night After Party for 'A Bronx Tale' at The Marriot Marquis Hotel on December 1, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
Movies - TV
Why Chazz Palminteri Trusted Robert De Niro With Directing A Bronx Tale
Actors Chazz Palminteri and Robert De Niro recounted how they agreed for De Niro to direct, and for Palminteri to star in, "A Bronx Tale," the coming-of-age film based on Palminteri’s life. Palminteri told The AV Club: "I did a [one man show of ‘A Bronx Tale’] [...] So I walk in [my dressing room], [De Niro] was sitting in my chair, and he said [...] ‘This is a movie, this is an incredible movie.'"
When Palminteri mentioned that he wanted to play Sonny, De Niro not only agreed but encouraged him to do so. From there, they shook hands and agreed to make the movie as partners: "So I shook [De Niro's] hand, and that's the way it was." Despite initial reservations about seeing the one-man show, De Niro told Interview magazine, “I saw it and liked it and liked Chazz.”
While De Niro ensured that "A Bronx Tale" was made in line with Palminteri's wishes, his personal stamp on the film is there. The actor even dedicated the film to his own father, the painter Robert De Niro Sr., who died a few months before the film's release — and even that memorial was in line with the theme of Palminteri's story: fathers and sons.