Legendary actor Robert De Niro's performances in "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull" and "The Godfather" have earned him a reputation as one of the great American actors of our time.
Now, he's made his second foray into directing. ABC's Diane Sawyer recently met with De Niro to talk about the new film he directed, "The Good Shepherd," which chronicles the creation of the CIA. She also spoke with two members of De Niro's cast, Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon.
Sawyer found out how De Niro -- a gritty thespian and man of few words -- acts when he's behind the camera.
Sawyer: You're an actor yourself. Do you think you do something different as a director?
De Niro: Maybe. The reality is that you have to get the performance out of the actors. However you do it, however you get it, however you arrive there.
Sawyer: Another thing [Jolie and Damon] talked about was ... the hat.
De Niro: Yes.
Sawyer: Matt said that the hat had to be absolutely right.What is the hat thing?
De Niro: Well, the reason is that I see these movies, these period movies all the time where the hats look ridiculous. And even in our film, I had a problem with the hats sometimes. So that's why I'm so, like, particular about that sort of thing.
Sawyer: Fifty films, I believe you've made, roughly 50 films, directed two. How did you decide this would be one of the two?
De Niro: I've always been fascinated by the subject and being a child of the Cold War, that to me was the more interesting thing … the beginning, and up to '61, the Bay of Pigs, the Berlin Wall going up.
Sawyer: So you remember being afraid in the Cold War?
De Niro: Yeah, I mean, it was scary.
Sawyer: The hiding under the desks and …
De Niro: All that... yeah. The nuclear war threat -- it was very real.
De Niro's "Good Morning America" fans also had a few random questions of their own.
Does he own an iPod?
De Niro: You know, I do own an iPod, but I haven't used it very much. There is a lot of music on it, and I still use the CD.
Does he sing in the shower?
De Niro: No, I don't sing in the shower. What I'd like is to be able to sing. I've just taken very few shots at it.
And what woman in history would he like to be?
De Niro: Oh, that's an interesting question. God, there are so many great women that I would, uh, could …
Sawyer: OK, you can e-mail me.
De Niro: I'll e-mail you.
Sawyer: Do you e-mail a lot?
De Niro: No, I don't e-mail, either.
Sawyer: So, do you have big unruly Christmas plans?
De Niro: Well, more or less, yeah. I'm trying to round up all the kids, family, get 'em all in one place.
Sawyer: Well, merry Christmas.
De Niro: Merry Christmas.