The Intern actor accused Radio Times writer of 'negative inference'
Perhaps the endless publicity trail around Nancy Meyers' forthcoming film The Intern is all getting too much for Robert De Niro.
The 72-year-old star walked out of an interview with a Radio Times journalist, ahead of the release of the film, after accusing her of "negative inference".
Emma Brockes asked De Niro how he resisted the temptation to go on to "autopilot" on set, and then followed up with a question about the gentrification of the Tribeca district of New York where the Godfather actor had launched a film festival.
At this point De Niro asked Brockes to pause her recorder and, according to the journalist, "pops up out of his chair, starts pacing madly and says he's cutting short the interview because of the 'negative inference'of what I just said."
De Niro said Brockes had displayed "negative inference all the way through" the interview, and was therefore "not doing it. I'm not doing it, darling."
When Brockes said she was just asking him questions, he said: "You're probably not even aware that you're doing it. The negative inference."
She told him: "I think you're very condescending."
His outburst came after minutes of answering questions "glumly" and appearing "depressed".
Prior to the interview, De Niro had given a press conference with his fellow cast , during which Anne Hathaway became emotional while speaking of the positive experience she had working with him.
At this, De Niro "looked baffled and vaguely appalled", Brockes wrote.