Robert De Niro Finds Empathy in 'The Irishman': "Loyalty, Betrayal, Love — The Story's Very Simple"

De Niro joined Tom Hanks, Jamie Foxx, Adam Driver, Adam Sandler and Shia LaBeouf for the annual Actor Roundtable.

"I think the story's very simple," Robert De Niro told the Actor Roundtable of his latest film The Irishman. "You could find that kind of situation in any culture. Loyalty, betrayal, love. All those things are there. The price in this world is a little more harsh. In certain parts of the world this is what happens. So we have it in this country, in America, that milieu, that culture, it's what it is."

"He was a guy who happened to have seen a lot of combat in the Second World War, so he was inured to killing more than someone else," De Niro told the roundtable. "He found himself in this world that was not what he was from, and it fit. He was loyal to the people that gave him the love and support and respected him."

De Niro reunited with his Godfather co-star Al Pacino and his Raging Bull, Taxi Driver director Martin Scorsese for the Netflix crime drama. He told the roundtable his characters are "all different. Some are harder in some ways than others. Raging Bull, because of the weight and all that. The Mission, just the physical stuff. Awakenings, there was a lot of physical stuff too, and studying how my character behaved, and what his affliction was."

As far as finding longevity in Hollywood, De Niro's advice is, "just be calm. When things are going well, be calm. Don't think you're on top of the world, in a sense. You always gotta be wary, because I've seen it. I've seen people come, I've seen people go. You've got to be chill. You've got to just take what's good in your life and move forward, cautiously and carefully, and thank God that you have that. It's very, very important not to overextend yourself when you think you've got it: there's no such thing. Everybody's dispensable."

De Niro won his first Academy Award for his supporting role as Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather: Part II. His second Oscar came from his leading role in Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull. He has five additional Oscar nominations for his iconic work in films such as Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter and Silver Linings Playbook. He won a Golden Globe for Raging Bull and received the ceremony's Cecil B. DeMille honor, along with eight additional career Golden Globe nominations.

The full Actor Roundtable is set to air Jan. 19 on SundanceTV. De Niro appears on the roundtable panel along with Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy) and Adam Driver (Marriage Story). Follow all the Oscar-season roundtables at