Robert De Niro on gay father: ‘I wish we had spoken about it much more’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Robert De Niro has opened up about his gay father, saying he wishes they had spoken about his sexuality more.

The actor was speaking to Out Magazine, ahead of the launch of a documentary about his father – the artist Robert De Niro Sr – who died in 1993.

On his father’s sexuality, De Niro said: “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.

“Again, for my kids, I want them to stop and take a moment and realize that you sometimes have to do things now instead of later, because later may be 20 years from now — and that’s too late.

“I wasn’t with him a lot, because my mother and he were separated and divorced. We were not the type of father and son who played baseball together, as you can surmise.”

Speaking about his decision to use the documentary to come out for his father, he said: “I felt I had to. I felt obligated. It was my responsibility.”

“I think it’s time. I thought about it, of course, but if you’re going to do something, you have to do it all the way. You can’t hide anything.

“That’s the whole point — the truth. That’s what people are attracted to. I should have done this 10 years earlier, but I’m glad I did it now.”

On his own lack of gay acting roles throughout his career, De Niro said: “They weren’t offered to me. If they had been offered to me by a good director, that’s something I would have considered.”

The documentary, Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr, will air in the US on June 9, on HBO.

A UK release is yet to be announced.

Watch a trailer below: