On “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Martin Scorsese discussed the fact that Robert De Niro added the famous “Are you talkin’ to me?” moment in the director’s classic film “Taxi Driver” (1976).
Colbert asked the “Killers of the Flower Moon” Oscar nominee whether the rumors were true that that scene might not have existed if it weren’t for De Niro.
“We were behind schedule. We were in such trouble. And they were banging on the door and I had to go to the door, open the door and say, ‘This is good. This is good. Give me five — two more minutes. Two more minutes and one more take, one more take,’” Scorsese told Colbert. “And he was improvising it, and I was on his feet because there were no video assistants at the time.”
Scorsese instructed De Niro a few more times after he ad-libbed the line. Colbert confirmed that, if the film had been shot on schedule, that scene wouldn’t have made it into the final cut.
“I was saying, ‘Do it again, do it again.’ And he was doing the thing with the moves and the gun,” the director continued. “And that’s actually, Columbus Avenue, we shot that on 88th Street. Some of the buildings now are gone. It was a condemned building, but they were mad. That wasn’t in the script either, it came from him.”
Colbert drew attention to the fact that another of the film’s scenes was shot in the Ed Sullivan Theater where “The Late Show” now films.
When Colbert asked exactly where he shot the scene, Scorsese said, “In the hallway, the entrance to the office building. What that was was that I was thinking about what the style of the film should be and it was starting to seep in, and the first shot I thought of was when he places that phone call to Betsy and she won’t return his calls and she doesn’t accept the flowers, and he’s trying to speak to her.
“I felt I needed a location where I had the phone booth on one side and I could just, because it was so painful, I decided that the camera should just track away and go to an empty hallway because of the emotional impact of it,” Scorsese continued. “Then he would hang up but he’d enter the frame and leave. And this was the place for us. It was the very first shot I thought of and that was the entire style of the film, came from that shot.”
Watch Scorsese talk about the improvised line in the video above.
The post Martin Scorsese Explains How Robert De Niro Improvised ‘You Talkin’ To Me?’ Scene in ‘Taxi Driver’ | Video appeared first on TheWrap.