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Film buff Hideo Kojima had the best weekend ever

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“I can die now but I won’t!”

A starstruck Hideo Kojima (right) with his idol, Robert De Niro.
Hideo Kojima/Twitter

Hideo Kojima had ulterior motives for attending this year’s Tribeca Games Festival, the first of its kind. Sure, he was a top-billed, keynote speaker — but it was no coincidence that he flew all the way out to New York City from Tokyo for an event tied to to his hero Robert De Niro’s 16-year-old Tribeca Film Festival.

Kojima talked at length about how much he loved De Niro, star of his “second favorite movie,” Taxi Driver.

“When Taxi Driver came out on video, I was watching it daily, before going to school, before going to work,” he told the Game Awards host Geoff Keighley, who interviewed Kojima on stage. Kojima would even imitate the film’s most famous scene, in which De Niro’s character asks his reflection, “Are you talking to me?

Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, The Godfather trilogy, Raging Bull; all are De Niro-led projects that rank highly on Kojima’s list of influences. His love for the actor is public knowledge, so it’s heartwarming that Kojima’s Tribeca Film Festival visit ended like this:

“Biggest smile I’ve ever seen on [Hideo Kojima’s] face!” Geoff Keighley tweeted about this adorable photo, committing the first meeting of these two innovators to memory.

Kojima attended a reunion and retrospective for The Godfather Part 1 and The Godfather Part 2 after his Tribeca talk, where he met not only De Niro, but co-stars Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall.

That would be life-affirming enough, but De Niro also signed Kojima’s copy of Taxi Driver and a Raging Bull poster for him.

As if we needed more reasons to be infinitely jealous of Kojima, his weekend with the stars only got cooler. He left New York City for Los Angeles on Sunday, presumably before heading back to Tokyo. There, he checked in with another one of his favorite creators: Jordan Vogt-Roberts, director of Kojima’s beloved Kong: Skull Island.

Vogt-Roberts and Kojima already have an established friendship, so it’s we who are starstruck, not the chill-as-heck Kojima. Between his New York and L.A. trips, Kojima’s quick weekend coast-to-coast tour looked pretty awesome.