Martin Scorsese Says Epic Line By Robert De Niro Was Improvised


Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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Martin Scorsese told Stephen Colbert that one of Robert De Niro’s most famous lines of all time wasn’t even scripted.

Scorsese shared the shocking news on Thursday’s episode of “The Late Show.” Most fans will recognize the most famous line from the iconic film, “Taxi Driver,” when De Niro, in the role of night shift taxi driver Travis Bickle, looked into the mirror and said, “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Well, I’m the only one here.” Scorsese said those famous lines were all De Niro’s doing.

Colbert was stunned to discover that the most memorable line from the film was improvised.

“He was improvising it,” Scorsese explained. “We were behind schedule. We were in such trouble.”

The Academy Award-winning director told Colbert he was behind schedule and being pressured to cut the scene, but continued to shoot when he recognized that De Niro was on to something.

“They were banging on the door and I had to go to the door, open the door, and say, ‘This is good. This is good. Give me five — two more minutes,'” Scorsese said. “And I was saying, ‘Do it again, do it again!’ And he was doing the thing with the moves and the gun.”

“So if you had stayed on schedule, there would be no, ‘You talkin’ to me?'” Colbert asked in disbelief.

“That’s right. That wasn’t in the script, it came from him,” Scorsese replied. (RELATED: Jennifer Lawrence Explains The Strange Reason She Told Robert De Niro To Leave Her Wedding Rehearsal)

“Taxi Driver” has been consistently ranked by fans and critics as one of the greatest films of all time, and De Niro’s famous line is among the most iconic in film history.