Robert De Niro Confirms He Dropped Out of Big After Getting Cast in Tom Hanks' Role: 'It's Fine'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Robert De Niro really could have been Josh Baskin in another life!

The Taxi Driver actor, 58, virtually stopped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday where he explained why he decided to exit the 1988 comedy Big despite landing the lead role in the movie.

"We had a thing with the negotiation, the thing, so it went the way it went," the two-time Oscar winner said. "So, it's fine."

Elizabeth Perkins, who played Susan Lawrence in the movie, visited Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen earlier this year and revealed De Niro was originally set to play her love interest.

RELATED: Robert De Niro Was Originally Cast in Big Instead of Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins Says

MYCHELE DANIAU/AFP via Getty Images; Moviestore/Shutterstock Robert De Niro; Tom Hanks in Big

"Robert De Niro was actually cast in the role of Josh," said Perkins, 60. "And then it fell apart because he had a scheduling conflict, and then they went to Tom Hanks."

Perkins added, "It's like a totally different movie in my brain with Robert De Niro."

The role ended up going to Tom Hanks, which catapulted the actor to instant stardom.

RELATED: Robert De Niro Injures Leg in Oklahoma, Where He's Been Filming Killers of the Flower Moon

Although De Niro didn't star in the film, he went on to act in critically acclaimed films like Heat, Casino, Goodfellas and more.

The actor, who will soon star alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorcese's Killers of the Flower Moon, also told Fallon he ad-libbed his most famous line "Are you talkin' to me?" in the 1976 thriller Taxi Driver. He said he often hears the line when he runs into fans.

"I remember years ago in L.A., down in the Valley, a bunch of kids pulled up next to me at a red light and say, 'Are you talkin' to me?'" the actor recalled. "I don't know how they recognized me."