When Robert De Niro and his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen, welcomed a child earlier this year (April 6, to be exact), it caught almost everyone by surprise – not just because we had no idea they were pregnant, but because De Niro was 79 years old at the time (he turned 80 in August). You’re never too old to be a dad!
On Sunday (October 15), De Niro sat down with Alex Moshakis of The Guardian for an interview about everything from politics to his acting career and, of course, what fatherhood looks like at 80 years old. And when asked how things are going with the little one, he gave a rather vague and brief response.
“It’s going OK,” he said as both men laughed – Moshakis is a father of two, so he understood what De Niro meant by that response. Robert goes on to praise fatherhood for its never-ending array of mysteries – adding that ‘it’s always good and mysterious and you don’t know what the hell is going to happen.’
Robert De Niro and Tiffany Chen first met while filming The Intern – De Niro was given a primary role in the film, while Chen was given a minor role as a group tai chi instructor. The couple initially sparked dating rumors in August 2021 when they were spotted together during a PDA-filled outing in France.
What we didn’t know then is that two years later, Chen and De Niro would be welcoming a baby into this world. Their little girl – Gia Virginia Chen-De Niro – was born on April 6 and is their first child together (though it’s De Niro’s seventh child total). They kept the pregnancy and birth a secret up until mid-May.
“It doesn’t get easier,” he said of being a new father at 80 years old. “It is what it is. It’s OK. I mean, I don’t do the heavy lifting. I’m there, I support my girlfriend. But she does the work. And we have help, which is so important.” He was then asked if he enjoys being a father, to which he responded, “Of course I do.”
As far as what he enjoys about it, he enjoys everything “All of it! With a baby it’s different to with my 11-year-old. My adult children. My grandchildren. It’s all different,” he says – adding he doesn’t ‘talk to the adult children the way I talk to my baby or the way I speak to my 11-year-old, though she’s pretty smart.’
Robert De Niro Doing What He Can to ‘Stay Alive’
Later in his interview with The Guardian, Robert De Niro was asked about his future plans and what he has in store for us in the coming years. While he has a few projects in the works, he says his primary goal right now is to ‘stay alive’ – he knows time is running out, but still feels he has a lot more left in the tank.
“Of course I think about it, at my age,” he said – adding that he’s ‘aware’ of his age and it’s even helping him appreciate the value behind time. “Every summer, every new season, everything, you say, ‘Well, I’m going to use these few months of the summer to be with my kids, my family.’ I can’t wait until the next.”
Not knowing what’s going to happen in a few years or even months has De Niro focused on what’s most important in his life. “Everything I do, time-wise, is important. Whatever I’m thinking about doing in two years, I’d better think about doing it now,” he says – a simple life lesson that we can all take away from.
He also says that, while he doesn’t mind the process behind getting older, a large reason why is because he knows he has no control over it. “What am I going to do? I might as well give in and go with it,” Robert De Niro said. None of us know how much time we have left, so we might as well make the most of it!