Robert De Niro confirmed his upcoming role in David O. Russell‘s Joy, Monday in Rome, where he was hosting a special screening of the HBO documentary Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro, Sr., presented by Fondazione Cinema Per Roma and MAXXI.
“Yeah, I am going to do something with them. I am going to play a father,” the actor confirmed. The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that he was in negotiations for the role, pending Jennifer Lawrence‘s involvement.
It will be the third time that De Niro has worked with Russell, after playing Bradley Cooper‘s father in Silver Linings Playbook, a role in which he was nominated for an Academy Award, and making a cameo in American Hustle. Russell has announced he has also created a role for Cooper, making a true Playbook reunion.
In Joy, Lawrence will play Miracle Mop creator Joy Mangano, a single mother of three who became one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. She created a number of products for her company, which she later sold to the Home Shopping Network in a multimillion-dollar deal. De Niro will play Mangano’s father. The film is set for release Christmas 2015.
At the special screening, De Niro said he has drawn from his own father, who was very affectionate, in various paternal roles throughout his career. “You always use whatever you can of your own experience to put into your roles. I think most actors do that,” said De Niro. “You personalize the part you play. You’re drawing from your own life experience to make it your own.”
Remembering, by Perri Peltz and Geeta Gandbhir, tells the story of De Niro’s father, who was a celebrated artist in the 1940s and 50s in the “New York School” of artists. As a figurative painter working in the era of abstract expressionism, he was always an outsider. Given his tendency to refuse to play the art world game, he didn’t find the success of many of his peers, including Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
Remembering is De Niro Jr.’s attempt to preserve his father’s legacy. He has kept his father’s studio in tact for his children and grandchildren.
The documentary often hints at the father’s resentment for failing to be recognized during his lifetime. “I didn’t felt guilty. He was very proud of me. He just was,” said De Niro Jr. in Rome about his own success. “Look, I’m lucky. And he knew I was lucky and fortunate to have the ability to be where I was to get recognized. So that made him very proud. That I know.”
The film premiered at Sundance this year. It will come out in Italy on Sky Arte HD Dec. 28.