Robert De Niro on Overthinking Your Character

Robert De Niro on Overthinking Your Character



World-famous actor, Robert De Niro, has crucial advice for emerging actors trying to reach success. Known for his awe-inspiring roles in movies, like Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, and The Untouchables, he explains in an interview that most aspiring stars have it all confused. De Niro says delivering an unforgettable, award-worthy performance is much simpler than most actors think.

Actors are frequently under the impression that they have to do more or give something extra, in order to play a role more wholesomely or to better help the audience understand what is happening in the storyline. Yet De Niro says this is not the case. Over-delivering may jeopardize your entire performance, perhaps making you come off as trying too hard.

He compares it to real life, explaining that your facial expressions and bodily postures are enough for people around you interpret what is happening with you or a given situation. That, in and of itself, is enough even when it comes to acting. You do not have to tell the audience what they should feel, he says. Rather, they should be able to read into it based on natural behaviors and reactions – just like they would in everyday life.

The award-winning actor advises against overthinking. Do not entertain ideas about how to spin it or interpret it, he says. That is giving and doing too much.

“You just have to do it and it will take care of itself,” De Niro explains.

Perhaps we will see the best example of De Niro’s advice yet in his new role as Bernie Madoff (alongside Michelle Pfeiffer) in HBO television series, The Wizard of Lies. So, remember blossoming artists: less is more. You do not have to give more to be better remembered.