Robert De Niro Visits Tokyo Film Fest for 'The Family' Screening

Robert De Niro and wife Grace Hightower in Tokyo

Hundreds of Japanese fans turned out to catch a glimpse of the veteran actor at the festival's main venue in Tokyo's Roppongi district.

TOKYO – Hundreds of fans turned out to see Robert De Niro at the Tokyo International Film Festival's main venue, the gleaming Roppongi Hills complex, on Tuesday. The actor is in town for the festival screening of his latest project, The Family (Malavita).

De Niro, accompanied by wife Grace Hightower, brought another dose of Hollywood star power to Tokyo, after Tom Hanks, Paul Greengrass, Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola attended the opening last week. This edition of TIFF has attracted more international names than recent years, despite a definite shift in content toward Japanese and Asian films. 

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“Japanese fans are so well behaved. At festivals in the west, people are usually screaming and going crazy, but everyone is so polite here,” said De Niro after working the crowd of Japanese fans, signing autographs and running the gauntlet of local media interviews. 

De Niro called working on The Family “easy hard-work or hard easy-work, depending on how you look at it,” describing the script as “simple and fun.”

Directed by Luc Besson and also starring Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer and Dianna Agron, the dark comedy tells the tale of a Mafia family relocated to France under the witness protection program.

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The Family was released in September in the U.S. to a mediocre reception from critics and at the box office. It opens in Japan on Nov. 15.

TIFF runs until Friday.  

Twitter: @GavinJBlair