Robert De Niro opens up about exciting Tribeca comeback - exclusive

The star had his concerns

The Tribeca Festival kicked off with a bang last night, making its long-awaited return to in person red carpets and screenings.

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The film debut of choice for its exciting opening night was none other than Jennifer Lopez' highly-anticipated Halftime documentary, which follows her multi-decade career with a focus on her Super Bowl Halftime performance in 2020.

HELLO! had the opportunity to attend the global premiere, and exclusively spoke with the one and only Robert De Niro about his hopes for the festival – looking out for guests as he revealed fears over returning to public gatherings.

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WATCH: The trailer for J.Lo's Halftime documentary

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The Academy Award winner founded the iconic festival in 2002 alongside Jane Rosenthal, who was also in attendance, and Craig Hatkoff, in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in Lower Manhattan, in hopes of sparking a cultural and economic revitilization in the city.

As he presented JLo's movie, he made note of the parallel between the emotional reason behind the festival's inception and how as it makes its return to in person gathering for the first time since the pandemic, he once again felt the urge to reinvigorate the New York film community.

Robert was in good spirits during the red carpet, looking dapper in a blue polo shirt and gray jacket, and while he was excited about the incredible turn out, he couldn't help but express concern over the crowds.

The film's director, Amanda Micheli, alongside JLo, Robert, and Jane

Speaking exclusively to HELLO!, he said that throughout the weekend, he at least hopes that: "[People] have a great time and nobody gets sick."

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Still, he acknowledged to other reporters that he understands people are anxious to finally get out, and revealed what he was most excited for was the very first night and getting to see Halftime, even joking that he might be partying with the star later.

Jane and Robert present Halftime

The documentary was the perfect choice for opening night, and received several rounds of applause and cheers from audiences throughout various emotional moments.

It revealed an intimate glimpse into the inner workings of the Let's Get Loud singer, and how as a Latina, she struggled to not only make a name for herself, but prove to Hollywood – and herself – that she was enough.

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