Taxi Driver (1976) was made with a low budget of only $1.9 million. Robert De Niro & Cybill Shepherd received only $35k for the film while Scorsese received only $65k. Despite the low budget, it went on to receive 4 nominations at the 1977 Academy Awards.
Robert De Niro was so dedicated, to prepare for his roles, he actually gained 60 lbs for Raging Bull, lived in Sicily Italy for The Godfather Part II, ground his teeth for Cape Fear, became a cab driver for Taxi Driver, and learned to play the saxophone for New York, New York.
While filming the Russian Roulette scenes in The Deer Hunter, Robert De Niro asked for a single live round to be put in the pistol. Director Michael Cimino allowed it.