‘A tragic, dumbass comedy’: Robert De Niro’s verdict on life in the US

‘A tragic, dumbass comedy’: Robert De Niro’s verdict on life in the US
It may sound like the description of his latest movie, but “tragic, dumbass comedy” is actually how Hollywood actor Robert De Niro described life in the US at the moment.

The 'Taxi Driver' star made the remarks during a graduation speech at Brown University in Rhode Island where he was awarded an honorary fine arts degree.

Addressing scores of jubilant students, the 73-year-old asked the crowd: “Are you sure you want to do this?”

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“Do you have any idea what has happened to our world in the four years you’ve been here? Well the country has gone crazy. In movie terms, when you started school the country was an inspiring uplifting drama. You’re graduating into a tragic, dumbass comedy.” 

He advised that graduates lock the university’s ornate Van Wickle Gates and “stay here.”

“But if you do leave, work for the change, work to stop the insanity,” he said. “Start now so the class of 2018 will graduate into a better world. It won’t be easy but you’ll figure it out. You’re Brownians.”

Amidst the US presidential election race last year, Robert De Niro, a Democrat, labelled Donald Trump “blatantly stupid” and a “bullsh*t artist.” 

“[Trump’s] a mutt who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s a national disaster. He’s an embarrassment to this country. It makes me so angry that this country has got to a point where this fool, this bozo, has wound up where he has.

“He talks about how he wants to punch people in the face. Well, I’d like to punch him in the face,” De Niro said in an advert released in October 2016.

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The shocking admission is almost a case of life imitating art. One of De Niro’s most iconic roles came in the 1976 film 'Taxi Driver' in which he played Travis Bickle, a crazed New York City cab driver who plots to kill a presidential candidate.