In a new interview with Out magazine, the iconic actor talks about his decision to make a documentary to showcase his dad's artwork and preserve his legacy.
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Robert De Niro has talked openly about his late artist father in a new HBO documentary
"I felt I had to. I felt obligated," Robert said of the film, titled Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro Sr. "…To me he was always a great artist."
In the documentary, the actor also discusses his father's sexuality.
"Yeah, he probably was (conflicted about being gay), especially from a small town upstate," the 70-year-old told the magazine.
Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr. airs on HBO 9 June"I was not aware, much, of it. I wish we had spoken about it much more. My mother didn't want to talk about things in general, and you're not interested when you're a certain age."
Robert added that although he didn't spend a lot of time with his father, they were close.
"We were not the type of father and son who played baseball together, as you can surmise. But we had a connection," he said. "I wasn't with him a lot, because my mother and he were separated and divorced. As I say in the documentary, I looked after him in certain ways.
Robert De Niro shared fond childhood memories of his father whom he describes as "a great artist"
"He was absent in some ways. He was very loving. He adored me… as I do my kids."
Even though his dad died more than 20 years ago, Robert continues to preserve his final home and art studio in Soho.
"It was the only way to keep his being, his existence alive," Robert explained.