Robert DeNiro in the Director's Chair

The actor's second directorial effort, The Good Shepherd , took 8 years to make. In an exclusive Q&A; he explains why, gives a few one word answers and examines weaponry in a completely non-menacing way

He has played a deranged cab-driver, an aggressively tattooed ex-con with revenge fantasies, several Mob bosses and an animated shark, but in few guises does Robert De Niro strike more fear into the heart of people than when they're interviewing him. TIME sent its most talkative editor to the office of the famously tight-lipped star, a few blocks from ground zero, for a conversation about The Good Shepherd , his second directorial effort (the first was 1993's A Bronx Tale ).

The movie, written by Eric Roth, recounts the history of the CIA from World War...

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