Robert De Niro met with KGB spies and fired guns with Taliban soldiers, according to ex-CIA agents hired to help him research movie THE GOOD SHEPHERD. MILT BEARDEN and ROBERT BAER have let slip the trips they took De Niro on while he prepared to make the spy thriller. Speaking at De Niro's TriBeCa Film Festival in New York, Bearden tells the New York Daily News how De Niro had a sauna with former KGB colonels and generals in Russia, where he was whipped with birches by "a nine-foot-tall masseur with a tank tattoo". Bearden says, "He'd say to De Niro, 'Do you love me?' Bob didn't." He adds how De Niro was taken to Pakistan to meet with members of the Taliban who asked the actor to "fire rounds from their machine gun across the valley. They said, 'It's not at anybody, we don't think.'"