It was supposed to be a quick, neutral video shot for a bipartisan campaign encouraging Americans to do their civic duty: vote.
Instead, Robert De Niro went off on Donald Trump in a blistering interview clip that leaked Friday.
In less than a minute, De Niro called the Republican presidential nominee “a dog,” “a pig,” “a con,” “a bulls—t artist … who doesn’t know what he’s talking about” and “an idiot.”
The 73-year-old actor pulled no punches. Truly.
“He talks [about] how he wants to punch people in the face?” De Niro is recorded saying in the video. “Well, I’d like to punch him in the face.”
But tell us how you really feel.
The interview was filmed as part of the #VoteYourFuture campaign, in which celebrities speak out to motivate citizens to register to vote — and then to actually go and cast a vote. The campaign is intended to be bipartisan.
“No matter the issue, the platform or the candidate you support — the most impactful way to shape the future of our country is to vote,” reads a statement on the #VoteYourFuture website. “We started this project to share what motivates us to get involved…”
Other celebrities who have filmed #VoteYourFuture ads include Edward Norton, Samuel L. Jackson, Julia Roberts and Emma Stone.
Unlike De Niro, the messages in their clips for the campaign are kept relatively neutral.
“If you’re pissed off, you gotta vote. And if you’re disillusioned, you gotta vote,” says actress Anne Hathaway in her #VoteYourFuture video. “You have to suck it up and do it. That’s what it means to be an American. That’s what it means to live in a democracy, because you don’t want to just have to receive other people’s choices for you. Vote. The election is here. Finally.”
It is unclear when De Niro filmed his segment, but it almost certainly was before news of Trump’s latest scandal broke Friday afternoon, after The Washington Post obtained footage of Trump making vulgar comments about women into a hot mic in 2005.
De Niro’s video was allegedly too partisan to be used for the #VoteYourFuture campaign, according to Variety. Instead, the clip aired Friday on Megyn Kelly’s “The Kelly File,” which said it had exclusively obtained the footage.
This is not the first time the actor has made his opinion of Trump known. In August, the actor — who also is an outspoken political activist and longtime supporter of the Democratic Party — compared Trump to the “Taxi Driver” character Travis Bickle.
De Niro played Bickle’s mentally ill character in the 1976 movie, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.
“He is totally nuts,” De Niro said of Trump at the Sarajevo Film Festival, according to the Associated Press.
A full transcript of De Niro’s scrapped #VoteYourFuture segment is here:
I mean, he’s so blatantly stupid. He’s a punk. He’s a dog. He’s a pig. he’s a con, a bulls—t artist, a mutt who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t care, thinks he’s gaming society, doesn’t pay his taxes. He’s an idiot.
Colin Powell said it best: He’s a national disaster. He’s an embarrassment to this country. It makes me so angry that this country had gotten to the point that 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. This is somebody that we want for president? I don’t think so. What I care about is the direction of this country. And what I’m very, very worried about is that it might go in the wrong direction with someone like Donald Trump.
If you care about your future, vote for it.