The Top 46 Inspirational Robert De Niro Quotes Ever

robert de niro quote

Robert De Niro is considered one of the greatest actors of all time, and for great reason, he has reached tremendous success in almost every genre of film. He has made significant impacts for the arts, whether it be creating a film festival after 9/11, delivering empowering speeches to graduating students, giving countless advice and mentorship to up and comers or delivering insightful wisdom for anyone involved in the creative process.

Robert De Niro certainly followed his passions from an early age, as it was instilled in his heart as a kid. Both his mother and father (who split) were involved with the arts; his father was a struggling painter in France and his mother was a painter and poet.

De Niro had an unbelievable work ethic and discipline and just loved to give it his all. However, he had faced a ton of opposition throughout as he overcame the odds of making it in the performing arts where competition was always heavy. He learned how to take failure lightly and he embraced taking risks in everything he did. This enabled him to stretch his creative horizons and do the unthinkable in so many different roles. His method acting style has now inspired so many others and he is still no where near slowing down.

As one of the most decorated actors ever, here is the most inspiring Robert De Niro quotes ever about passion, rejection and trusting the inner nudges.


1.) Follow Your Instincts:

“Don’t be afraid to do what your instincts tell you.” – Robert De Niro

2.) Embrace Rejection, It’s A Part Of The Process: 

“A new door is opening for you — a door to a lifetime of rejection. It’s inevitable.” Robert De Niro

3.) You Can’t Fight Passion:

“You discovered a talent, developed an ambition and recognized your passion. When you feel that, you can’t fight it — you just go with it.” – Robert De Niro

4.) Don’t Fear Failure:

“Don’t be afraid to fail. I urge them to take chances, to keep an open mind, to welcome new experiences and new ideas. I tell them that if you don’t go, you’ll never know. You just have to go out there, be bold and take your chances.” Robert De Niro

5.) Choices Decide Our Fate:

“The talent is in the choices.” – Robert De Niro

6.) Work Really Hard:

“You’ll have time to rest when you’re dead.” – Robert De Niro

7.) Just Do It:

“I don’t get into these long-winded heavy discussions about character – do we do this or that or what. At the end of the day, what you gotta do is just go out there and do it.” Robert De Niro

8.) Walk Your Talk:

“Don’t talk it away, do it!” Robert De Niro

9.) Let Go And Live In The Present:

“Be in the moment. Period. Just be there. Because if you get all like, ‘oh I got to do this big thing’, it just never works. It just doesn’t work. You’ve got to let go. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Whatever you do is ok, just be truthful, honest, real, and that’s all you can ask for.” – Robert De Niro

10.) Small Steady Changes:

“Life rarely changes you totally but it consistently changes you in details.” Robert De Niro

11.) A Robert De Niro Quote About Creativity:

“Sometimes if you have financial restraints, it’s a benefit. It forces you to come up with a more creative way.” – Robert De Niro

12.) Remain True To You:

“If you’re an actor, always be true to your character. If you are not an actor, have character and always be true to yourself.” – Robert De Niro

13.) Detachment:

“A guy told me one time, “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.” Robert De Niro

14.) A Robert De Niro Quote About His Discipline:

“There is a certain combination of anarchy and discipline in the way I work.” – Robert De Niro

15.) Face The Fears:

“The fear factor is always there–everything from losing tens of millions of dollars on a film that doesn’t work to not being able to get a good table in a top restaurant because your last movie flopped.” Robert De Niro

16.) Freedom & Flexibility:

“I know it’s important to give everybody as much freedom as you can so that they don’t feel there are any limitations. With any mistake they could make, everything is fine. And then they’re not afraid to try things or trust you when you say, “Look, let’s try and go in this direction.” That’s very important with actors – and all other creative elements.Robert De Niro

17.) There Is No Right Or Wrong:

“A lot of young actors have the idea that, “I’ve got to do this right. There’s a right way to do this.” But there’s no right or wrong. There’s only good and bad. And “bad” usually happens when you’re trying too hard to do it right. There’s a very broad spectrum of things that can inhibit you. The most important thing for actors – and not just actors, but everybody – is to feel loose enough to create what you want to create, and be free to try anything. To have choices.” – Robert De Niro


“I don’t feel pressure. I like if anybody has interest in what I have to say, especially if they’re younger. If they like me, respect me, I’m honoured and I’ll give them my opinion.” Robert De Niro

19.) A Robert De Niro Quote About Pain:

“You don’t want to block the pain too much. Without the pain what would we talk about?” – Robert De Niro

20.) Less Judgement Leads To More Laughter:

“Today I laugh more often than I did in youth. It appears I simply do not judge people anymore.” Robert De Niro


“Money makes your life easier. If you’re lucky to have it, you’re lucky.” – Robert De Niro

22.) A Strong Inner Desire:

“But my main interest has always been movies – making them, directing them, being involved. I have never lost the passion for that.” – Robert De Niro

23.) No Regrets:

“I am also not one for regrets. I don’t regret any film I’ve made, because there was a reason for making it at the time. If it hasn’t worked out, then don’t spend time worrying about why and how. Just move on to the next project.” Robert De Niro


24.) On Being Humble:

“I do not consider myself some sort of acting legend, just an actor doing his best with the material that is there at the time.” – Robert De Niro

25.) Take A Leap Of Faith And Travel The Unknown:

“When I was young, I wasn’t afraid of being told “No.” I tell my kids, I tell everyone, “If you don’t go, you never know.” I didn’t take it as rejection. Certain things are stacked against you. You’re coming out of nowhere, starting out — that’s part of the excitement of it in a way, too.” Robert De Niro

26.) Fight For Your Dreams:

“There’s a quote: You gotta be part gangster. You’ve got to fight for what you want. You’ve got to listen to everybody’s opinion, then finally at the end of the day, you have to do what you feel is right.” – Robert De Niro

27.) A Hopeful Message For Graduates Of ‘Tisch School Of Arts’:

“I’m excited and honored to be in a room full of young creators who make me hopeful about the future of the performing and media arts. I know you’re going to make it—all of you. Break a leg.” – Robert De Niro


“Being able to battle it out. No matter how you do it, you gotta hold your ground at times. Other times you’ve got to compromise. But never a compromise that you can’t live with.” Robert De Niro

29.) A Robert De Niro Quote About Having Critics:

“What I say is, if you didn’t have critics — even though they can annoy you and upset you — if you didn’t have a critic, who would tell you how it is?”  – Robert De Niro

30.) Take Advantage Of Now:

“Again, for my kids, I want them to stop and take a moment and realize that you sometimes have to do things now instead of later, because later may be 20 years from now — and that’s too late.” Robert De Niro

31.) Be Fearless & Go With The Truth:

“I thought about it, of course, but if you’re going to do something, you have to do it all the way. You can’t hide anything. That’s the whole point — the truth. That’s what people are attracted to. I should have done this 10 years earlier, but I’m glad I did it now.” – Robert De Niro

32.) Time Is Precious:

“And especially when you get older, you start realizing you don’t have that much time. And you look back and say, “The last 15 years, it went by kind of quickly.” You don’t really know it until you get there and look back and say, “Geez, where did that time go?” I know I’ve gotta account for every day, every moment, every this, every that, but it still went, that time went. So now I have the next whatever, hopefully 15, 20 years if I’m lucky, and I think what to use that time for.” – Robert De Niro

33.) On The Excitement Of Still Acting After All These Years:

“It’s different but it still has as much excitement. When you get older you have a different attitude about certain stuff. There are certain things that I might have been concerned about then that I’m less concerned about now. You realise that you don’t have to expend all that energy to get where you want to get. You relax and back off a little and you might actually get more of what you’re looking for with less effort.” Robert De Niro


“If it’s the right chair, it doesn’t take too long to get comfortable in it.” – Robert De Niro

35.) Go After Your Dreams Now, Not Later:

“Time goes on. So whatever you’re going to do, do it. Do it now. Don’t wait.” Robert De Niro

36.) Give It Your All:

“There will be times when your best isn’t good enough. There can be many reasons for this, but as long as you give your best, it’s okay. Did you get straight A’s in school? If you did, good for you, congratulations. But in the real world, you’ll never get straight A’s again.Robert De Niro

37.) Life Is A Paradox:

“There’s nothing more ironic or contradictory than life itself.” – Robert De Niro

38.) A Robert De Niro Quote About Rejection:

“Rejection might sting, but my feeling is that often, it has very little to do with you.” Robert De Niro

39.) Follow Your Calling:

“Now that you’ve made your choice — or, rather, succumbed to it — your path is clear. Not easy, but clear. You have to keep working, it’s that simple.” – Robert De Niro

40.) Reach For Your Destiny:

“When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense. You aren’t just following dreams, you’re reaching for your destiny” Robert De Niro

 41.) Take Ownership:

“You’re not responsible for the entire job, but your part in it. … You will put your everything into everything you do.” – Robert De Niro

42.) Your Already Naked:

“I didn’t have a problem with rejection, because when you go into an audition, you’re rejected already. There are hundreds of other actors. You’re behind the eight ball when you go in there.” – Robert De Niro


“You don’t need words to express feelings.” Robert De Niro

44.) A True Actor In Love With The Process Over The Product:

“I’ve never been one of those actors who has touted myself as a fascinating human being. I had to decide early on whether I was to be an actor or a personality.” – Robert De Niro

45.) A Need For The True Critics:

“The hardest thing about being famous is that people are always nice to you. You’re in a conversation and everybody’s agreeing with what you’re saying — even if you say something totally crazy. You need people who can tell you what you don’t want to hear.” Robert De Niro

46.) Layers Below The Surface:

“Movies are hard work. The public doesn’t see that. The critics don’t see it. But they’re a lot of work. A lot of work.Robert De Niro

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