There are some truths that are simply unshakable. Among them: The sky is blue, the earth is round, and babies are cute. Robert De Niro certainly agrees with that last one, it would appear, as he teared up while talking about his nine-month-old daughter, Gia, during a recent interview.
The 80-year-old actor, who was nominated for a best-supporting-actor Oscar this week for his role in Killers of the Flower Moon, is a father seven times over, but he was still overtaken with emotion while discussing the “wondrous” experience of spending time with his youngest child in a recent interview with the AARP’s magazine. He and girlfriend Tiffany Chen welcomed Gia in April 2023, news that he revealed as a casual aside during an interview back in May 2023.
“It feels great,” he said of fatherhood in the interview published Thursday.
“Everything that I’m consumed with or worried about just goes away when I look at her. It’s wondrous,” he continued. “When she gets older—who knows? But that very sweet way she has of looking at you, taking you in, thinking and watching and observing…”
And here’s where the proud-daddy waterworks made their appearance.
Of course, De Niro and Chen haven’t had an entirely smooth road since the birth of Gia: Chen, who is in her mid-40s, experienced facial paralysis as a result of Bell’s palsy after giving birth.
In an interview about her recovery, she told Gayle King that “everything was starting to just fall down on itself. Like my face was melting on itself.”
In October 2023, De Niro admitted that Chen was more involved in the nitty-gritty of taking care of baby Gia. “It is what it is. It’s okay,” he said in an interview with The Guardian, speaking about parenting.
“I mean, I don’t do the heavy lifting,” he continued. “I’m there, I support my girlfriend. But she does the work. And we have help, which is so important.”
In November 2023, a jury found De Niro’s production company liable in a gender discrimination suit brought by the actor’s former assistant, with De Niro calling the claims “all nonsense” during his testimony. Chen stood by him during the lawsuit, discussing in her testimony a text she’d sent that said: “The whole situation has become very Single White Female.”
The famously terse De Niro shared his overall life philosophy with the AARP publication: “I’ve learned how not to worry or tax myself too much,” he said. “I like to just let things happen.”