Now Donald Trump is President-elect, Robert De Niro would no longer like to punch him in the face
Robert De Niro was asked to deliver a non-partisan call to vote and instead delivered the most blistering warning against Donald Trump to come from someone outside of the political elite. His message, unequivocal in its criticism of Mr Trump, culminated with De Niro telling the camera: “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
But after the man he dismissed as a “punk” was elected to the highest seat in political office, an astonishing result that has sparked protests across America, De Niro has clarified that he would no longer like to punch him.
The Raging Bull actor told Jimmy Kimmel that he is “not feeling good” after the billionaire property tycoon was announced as the 45th President-elect, crushing hopes for the first female president of America.
Mr Trump’s comments about women, Muslims, immigrants, refugees and ethnic minorities have made him one of the most controversial candidates to run for the White House to date.
But his new position means De Niro, 73, believes he has to respect him - which means no punching.
“I can’t do that now, he’s the President,” said De Niro. “And I have to respect that position, although we all know what he… We have to see what he’s gonna do and how he’s really gonna follow through on certain things. As we can see now in a lot of cities, a lot of people are getting very upset and protesting.” De Niro declined to say whether Mr Trump would be allowed to eat in one of the restaurants he owns.
His statement mirrors the uncharacteristically restrained reactions from some of Mr Trump's most staunch critics, demonstrating how revered the person chosen to be President is in America, regardless of who has been elected to the role. Some of his most renowned detractors have softened their stance and instead sent messages of hope that Mr Trump will now set about healing the deep divisions he created during his campaign.
De Niro's to-camera monologue was not included in footage by Anonymous Content, but it was released separately on their website because producers believed it should still be seen.
Anonymous Content told The Independent at the time: “When Robert De Niro came in to shoot his video, he wanted to share his thoughts regarding his feelings for Donald Trump. Tom McCarthy, who directed De Niro’s portion, asked him the same question he asked the other participants: 'What do you care about?' This was his response.”
Independent News Service