Who knew that Bruce Springsteen was responsible for one of the most famous movie lines of all time? Apparently, Clarence Clemons knew. In his memoir, Big Man: Real Life and Tall Tales, the E Street sax man reveals that the inspiration for Robert DeNiro’s infamous question, “You talkin’ to me?” in the 1976 film Taxi Driver was none other than The Boss himself.
The Big Man explains that DeNiro shared this secret with him while he was coaching the actor in playing the saxophone for the 1977 movie New York, New York. Clemons says DeNiro told him that he heard Springsteen say these words in response to fans who were screaming his name during a concert, and decided to adopt the words as his own.
Now, while a portion a Clemons’ book is admittedly comprised of tall tales, the DeNiro story appears to actually be one of the real life anecdotes. I just knew I caught Bruce and Bobby exchanging knowing glances when they were sitting up there in that Kennedy Center Honors balcony together!