Robert De Niro has confirmed that he was cast in the lead role in the movie Big ahead of Tom Hanks.

Speaking to US chat show host Jimmy Fallon, DeNiro responded to some rumours about his career.

When Fallon asked him if it was true that he had been cast as Josh - the character eventually played by Tom Hanks - in Penny Marshall's 1988 comedy, Big, De Niro said: "Yes, this is true. But we had a thing, an issue with the negotiations, so it went the way it went. But that was fine."

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Fallon also asked De Niro, who won an Oscar for playing Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Part II, if it was true he had originally auditioned for a different role in the Francis Ford Coppola directed franchise.

"Everybody was up for Michael [Corleone], but everybody knew that Al [Pacino] was gonna do it, that Francis wanted him," he told Fallon.

"I wanted to do the Sonny part, too, and I read for it, but I think Francis was pretty set on Jimmy Caan, too. But they let me read."

In another revealing moment, De Niro shared that he adlibbed the highly-quoted line from Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver.

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