You Talkin’ Like Him? A Convention Lets De Niro Fans Get in on the Act

Participants at De Niro Con in Tribeca could talk like Travis Bickle, shadowbox like Jake LaMotta or get a tattoo like Max Cady. Yes, a real tattoo.

Amy Cakes has dozens of tattoos, but the one she got on Friday would stand out simply because the ink was applied amid a celebration of all things Robert De Niro.

As Cakes, 32, an operations coordinator at the Tribeca Festival, rolled up her sleeve, the eerie glow of the actor’s face played on a loop in the background, a sequence of shots of Max Cady, the character with cryptic, ominous tattoos De Niro played in “Cape Fear.” Participants could choose from five tattoos he sported in that 1991 drama, including a panther and the phrase “Time the avenger.” Cakes selected a clown with a gun, as De Niro’s mien scowled on the screen above.

This was the inaugural tattoo of De Niro Con, a three-day series of events honoring the 80-year-old actor and coinciding with the final days of the 2024 Tribeca Festival, which he co-founded. The convention, held in Spring Studios in Tribeca, drew more than 1,000 fans to displays of movie memorabilia; a re-creation of the dingy bedroom of Travis Bickle, his unhinged title character in “Taxi Driver” (1976); and that tattoo parlor. For passes that ranged from $150 each to $3,500 for two, participants could make videos of themselves reciting lines from “Taxi Driver,” shadowbox as Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull” (1980), or sip complementary Starbucks energy drinks before emerging from the Rupert Pupkin Hall of Fan Experiences.

Patrick McCartney administered (fake) lie-detector tests just as De Niro’s character did in “Meet the Parents.”Adam Powell for The New York Times
The decorations included stills from “Goodfellas.”Adam Powell for The New York Times
The Army jacket is a recreation of the one worn by Travis Bickle in “Taxi Driver.”Adam Powell for The New York Times

Some attendees arrived wearing De Niro shirts or bought them there. Others purchased $25 toddler onesies with “You talkin’ to me?” (Travis Bickle’s signature line) emblazoned on the front.

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Source: Movies -


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