When Robert De Niro cries, it’s hard not to cry with him! The Silver Linings Playbook actor, 69, teared up while discussing bipolar disorder with costar Bradley Cooper and director David O. Russell on Katie on Monday, Feb. 4.
“Did you feel a greater responsibility about doing a film that David had so much personally invested in?” Katie Couric asked, referring to the director basing the film on his son suffering from the disorder.
“Of course, I um –- I understand,” replied De Niro said while tearing up. The actor plays the father of Cooper’s character, who battles the disorder.
“I don’t like to get emotional,” he explained while getting choked up. “But I know exactly what he goes through.”
Russell stepped in for De Niro and finished answering the question. “We all know people who have faced these challenges, we’ve all been touched by these people and we love these people. As he says in the movie, ‘I want to do everything I can to help you get back on your feet.’ There’s nothing harder in life than when you can’t figure out what to do,” he said. “You try everything. And you must never stop. Your heart just has to keep growing.”
“When I first was in his apartment and I was talking about the screenplay this what happened,” Russell, 54, added of his tearful star. “And I thought he was having Hay Fever and I realized he was having an emotional reaction. I sat there and I watched Robert DeNiro cry for 10 minutes. And I said, Wow, he’s really connecting with this material and this could be a beautiful thing if it worked out.”
During a lighter moment from the interview with the men of Silver Linings Playbook, Couric made Cooper blush — and more — while pointing out that he’s now single after splitting from actress Zoe Saldana in January.
After burying his face in the couch, Cooper, 38, addressed the public’s interest in his love life. “I vacillate between being fascinated by it and also being like, ‘Ah, it’s a real bummer!'” he said.
At the 2013 Oscars on Feb. 24, the single actor plans to take his mother as his date.
“I am taking Gloria!” he said. “Although a couple days ago she threatened not to go. Because there’s scrutiny; it’s rough. I said, ‘Look, you can’t let that bother us.’ I mean, my father [Charles Cooper] passed away two years ago, and the idea that I’m going to the Oscars nominated with Daniel Day-Lewis and Hugh Jackman and Denzel Washington and Joaquin Phoenix — let’s enjoy every second of this!”