Robert De Niro was so dedicated, to prepare for his roles, he actually gained 60 lbs for Raging Bull, lived in Sicily Italy for The Godfather Part II, ground his teeth for Cape Fear, became a cab driver for Taxi Driver, and learned to play the saxophone for New York, New York.
Praised for his commitment to roles, stemming from his background in method acting, De Niro gained 60lb (27kg) and learned how to box for his role as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, ground his teeth for Cape Fear, lived in Sicily for The Godfather Part II, worked as a cab driver for a few weeks for Taxi Driver, and learned to play the saxophone for New York, New York. He again put on weight for his performance as Al Capone in The Untouchables (1987)
De Niro’s brand of method acting includes employing whatever extreme tactic he feels is necessary to elicit the best performance from those with whom he is working. During the filming of The King of Comedy, he directed a slew of anti-Semitic epithets at co-star Jerry Lewis to enhance and authenticate the anger demonstrated by Lewis’ character. According to People magazine, the technique was successful, with Lewis recalling: “I forgot the cameras were there… I was going for Bobby’s throat.”