Robert De Niro Sacrificed More Than 90 Percent Of His Salary For Martin Scorsese, Agreed To Do One of His Best Movies Only For $35000

Robert De Niro was willing to cut his pay for a passion project with Martin Scorsese.

Robert De Niro Sacrificed More Than 90 Percent Of His Salary For Martin Scorsese, Agreed To Do One of His Best Movies Only For $35000

SUMMARY

  • Robert De Niro only received a $35,000 salary for Taxi Driver despite previously winning an Oscar.
  • The actor was very passionate about his role as Travis Bickle in Martin Scorsese's movie.
  • De Niro expressed interest in doing a Taxi Driver sequel despite initial plan that did not take off.
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Robert De Niro is undoubtedly one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood with his illustrious career that dates back to the ‘70s. He has already worked with veteran filmmaker Martin Scorsese on a couple of projects, and fans saw the pair collaborate again in 2023’s Killers of the Flower Moon.

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Robert De Niro Taxi Driver
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver

One of De Niro’s most important works, the 1976 neo-noir psychological thriller Taxi Driver helmed by Scorsese, only paid the actor a measly amount that was far below his salary worth.

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Robert De Niro Received A Meager Pay For His Outstanding Work On Taxi Driver

Robert De Niro just won an Oscar for his performance in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part II in 1975. Because of this victory, the actor has finally commanded a salary of $500,000 per movie.

Martin Scorsese and De Niro worked on Taxi Driver under budget constraints despite the filmmaker’s previous works emerging successful at the box office. They were only given $1.9 million for production costs, forcing De Niro and co-star Cybill Shepherd to accept $35,000 each for their salaries.

De Niro played Travis Bickle, a Vietnam veteran living in Manhattan who struggles with insomnia and post-traumatic stress. His coping mechanism was to frequent p*rn theaters and work as an off-hours cab driver.

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Robert De Niro Taxi Driver-2
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver

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The actor accepted the job despite the massive pay cut because he was very passionate about the character in the film. De Niro even drove a taxi around New York to get himself used to the feeling. He also studied Midwest soldiers’ accents.

Taxi Driver proved to be a fundamental project for De Niro. The movie has been a favorite amongst film teachers because of the eclectic range of inspirations Scorsese took influence from, demonstrating the culmination of decades worth of cinema.

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It also received four nominations at the 49th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.

RELATED: “I saved the film!”: Robert De Niro’s Co-star Helped Fix a Crucial Error on $236M Film That Got Jennifer Lawrence Her First Oscar Win at 22

Robert De Niro Wants To Star In Taxi Driver Sequel

robert de niro taxi driver-3
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver

Robert De Niro has expressed interest in a Taxi Driver sequel in his interview via The Guardian. Interestingly, they had a plan that did not get off the ground:

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Well, I had that idea. I said, why don’t we write something? And I talked to Marty and Paul did take a shot at something, whether it was an outline or a script, I forget. But somehow we didn’t feel it was right, and it didn’t take off.”

It is evident that the character has left a mark on the actor, which explains his fervent desire to go back and see what’s happening to him at this age.

But I’d like to see where Travis is today. There was something about the guy – all that rage and alienation, that’s what the city can do to you. I mean, Marty and I are from New York, and even we can feel alienated.”

Despite De Niro only receiving a meager pay check for his role in Taxi Driver, the movie has become a classic cult favorite, leaving a tremendous influence in the field of cinema that will surely go down in history.

RELATED: Robert De Niro’s Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Verdict: De Niro’s Production Company to Pay $1.264 Million to His Former Assistant Graham Chase Robinson

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 1919

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.