Robert De Niro, known for his nuanced portrayals of flawed characters, is giving an equally nuanced appraisal of President Barack Obama's performance.
"He’s a good person, period,” De Niro said in an interview with DuJour. “He’s trying his best. He’s going to do things that people feel are not right or violating one right or another. But at the end of the day, he represents, I think, the best of the type of people that I would like to see running the government. He has to play that game, the political game. They all do. They make statements they can’t honor because they’re impossible to honor."
The actor, who stars opposite Michelle Pfeiffer in the upcoming film The Family, said the criticism one gets as a politician is akin to criticism one receives being a filmmaker.
"It’s like directing a movie, and you edit the film and then someone will give you a suggestion: ‘You could do this, you could do that.’ You look and you say, ‘Yeah, but the reason I can’t do that is because I don’t have that shot, and if I use this shot that’s better here, it impacts on this one and it’s a story point,' " he said. "In other words, it can’t be done."
De Niro said with government, one must make choices, face criticism and try to explain one's reasoning.
"If you took the time to explain it all to the public, they’d say, ‘OK, I get it.’ Can you explain to everybody? No. You just have to say, ‘I made this choice because I felt it was the right choice,' " De Niro said.
The interview took place earlier this summer and hit online this week.
Relativity's The Family hits theaters on Sept. 13.