Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Caesars Palace
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 | 12:44 p.m.
Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro has revealed that his next film “Last Vegas” will be filmed on the Strip and headquartered from his new Nobu Hotel opening later this year at Caesars Palace.
“It’s going to be like ‘The Hangover,’ but with guys who are older than Bradley Cooper’s buddies. Michael Douglas plays a bachelor who’s finally getting married in his retirement years. We’re taking him to Vegas for a little celebration before he walks down the aisle. It’s senior citizens in Sin City,” Robert said.
In a wide-ranging interview for my pal Rod Musum’s Vegas Player magazine that is the in-room luxury lifestyle publication of Caesars Entertainment, the New York-based movie mogul talked at length about the Nobu Hotel project to open on the Strip.
“We found Robert De Niro to be an open and honest interviewee,” Rod told me. “Just when he has a reputation for being a tough interview. During our cover shot, he described his more than 20-year partnership with celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
“It’s like having chemistry with your co-star on a movie,” Robert said. “The thing I’ve always respected most is his concern for quality. Opening a Nobu Hotel was the next logical step in our longtime friendship. I kept seeing that people wanted Nobu to open restaurants in their hotels because it was a drawing card.
“So I asked, ‘Why are we not doing our own?’ Vegas is the place where things are always happening. It was the realization of a dream for me, too. I used to think about building them in a variety of places where you could have distinct experiences, from the tropics to a winter resort.
“I’d have fantasies that if I had enough money, I’d give it a shot and work to make them the perfect places to stay.”
Robert joked that he’s “designed every room.” He said that his contribution is making sure the Nobu Hotel is the best of the best: “My contribution includes not being afraid to say, ‘This is not going to work.’ When people start going, ‘This is going to cost too much,’ I say, ‘It’s worth the cost.’
“You have to be ready to fight with the money people to create something and make it the best it can be, whether it’s a hotel or a movie. My motto is, “If you don’t go, you never know.’ Sometimes you’ve got to take a chance to move forward.”
Robert, who launched the Tribeca Film Festival a year after the 9/11 attacks, said he brought it to downtown New York to help boost the rebirth of Lower Manhattan. “The tough part for me is getting to see all the movies we want to include. It’s a little overwhelming, but I try my best.”
In the fascinating interview at VegasPlayerMagazine.com, he also reflected on his movie career: “I don’t often watch my films, but I would like to review all of them. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I just want to see where I’ve gone and where I can go off differently as an actor. It would be getting sort of a sense of the trajectory of my career.”
Insider word is that their Nobu restaurant will open in November and the boutique hotel in December, with bookings in time for New Year’s Eve celebrations. Nobu revealed his plans for the Caesars Palace additions during this year’s Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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