Robert De Niro was ‘annoyed’ about A Bronx Tale directing snub

Robert De Niro briefly fell out with his A Bronx Tale co-star Chazz Palminteri after clashing over who should direct the Broadway adaptation of the mafia play.
The Raging Bull star took charge of the 1993 film, which was based on Palminteri’s one-man play, and the old pals teamed up again last year (15) to turn it into a musical.
De Niro co-directs the stage show, which has since transferred to Broadway, but he reveals there was a time early on in the play’s development when Palminteri and producer Tommy Mottola weren’t so keen on having him call the shots amid concerns of time constraints.
“I kicked around (suggested) that I try and do (direct) it, and there was apprehension that I couldn’t commit to the time,” De Niro told the New York Post’s Page Six.
Palminteri and Mottola began negotiating with Tony Award-winning Guys and Dolls director Jerry Zaks, who eventually signed on, and the movie legend admits he was angry when he was overlooked.
“The bottom line was that I was annoyed at Tommy… I was annoyed at Chazz… because they didn’t believe in me that I could do it, but I understand,” he said.
He continued, “There was a time I was not talking to them. Then Tommy made a nice gesture, like, ‘Life is too short’. And Chazz and I started talking.”
The stars worked out their differences and De Niro was brought on to co-direct with Zaks for its launch at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey a year ago.
“We all believe in the project. The last thing I wanted was to feel badly and get into petty squabbles…,” he explained.
De Niro insists he understands the stageshow is “Chazz’s baby”, and shared, “It’s too important to waste the energy – and it is a big commitment of time – I don’t blame them for being apprehensive (and) we reached a compromise.”
A Bronx Tale, about a teen who finds himself caught up between his father and a local mob boss, will begin previews on Broadway on Thursday (03Nov16), before officially opening on 1 December (16), and De Niro has already learned “a lot of things” from working alongside Zaks for his Broadway debut.
He said, “Jerry is great… It is actually fun and really coming along… We’re having a good time.”