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Robert De Niro on celebrating ‘The Godfather’ turning 50, what keeps him going at nearly 79

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Tribeca Film Festival

Robert De Niro turns 79 in August, but he’s showing no signs of slowing down. He’s about to launch his 21st Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday — the first non-COVID-restricted event in two years.

On top of that, his Killers of the Flower Moon, a reunion with his Goodfellas director Martin Scorsese and his This Boy’s Life co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, debuts in November, and the screen legend joins fellow Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, and Emmy and Tony winner John Leguizamo next week to start the action movie Tin Soldiers

So what keeps him going? “What else am I gonna do, go play golf?” he said with a laugh to ABC Audio.

“I can do that. But some people — you know, like the old [saying], ‘Some of my best friends … ?’ Some of my best friends play golf. But — and it’s interesting — but I’m, that’s not my [thing],” he admits. 

He says of his still-growing filmography, “It’s a form of keeping busy, of course, I like to do what I’m doing, you know.”

As he nears a milestone birthday himself, we wondered about the recent 50th birthday of The Godfather. Of course De Niro scored an Academy Award for playing a young version of Marlon Brando‘s Vito Corleone in 1974’s The Godfather Part II.

“It’s great,” the icon says of the attention the original film got around its anniversary in March, beginning with a salute at this year’s Academy Awards.

“I mean, 50 years, 49 for me or 48 really because I’m in II, but still it’s long enough,” he smiled.

“No, I think it’s great. I think … it was a nice, it’s a nice celebration, if you will.”

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