Robert De Niro defends presentation of Anna Paquin's character in The Irishman 1 year ago

Robert De Niro defends presentation of Anna Paquin's character in The Irishman

Some have criticised Paquin's lack of lines in the film.

Hey, have you seen The Irishman yet?


It's been on Netflix for almost a week now, so we'll presume that you have.

If you haven't, please note that this article contains some important plot-related spoilers for Martin Scorsese's latest - and perhaps final? - crime epic.

We say 'final' mainly because The Irishman really feels like a farewell to the genre that the 77-year-old filmmaker helped to elevate and arguably redefine. The official JOE review is right here, should you want further critical musings.

There has been a lot of conversation about the picture throughout the year. Upon its release, some commentators put forward the argument that women were underserved, with Anna Paquin's character in particular emerging as an especially glaring case.

Paquin plays the adult version of Frank Sheeran's daughter Peggy, who is depicted as a mostly silent figure from an early age, reflecting her upset and indifference towards her criminal father.

She also resists affection from Joe Pesci's mob kingpin but takes a shine to Al Pacino's outgoing Jimmy Hoffa, again mostly communicating via body language.

The adult Peggy, as portrayed by the Oscar-winning Paquin, has similarly little to say, though her presence goes a long way to personifying Frank's guilt. Ultimately, she is his greatest loss.


Despite a lack of dialogue, Paquin plays the role perfectly. The actress herself has even responded to those suggesting her character was short-changed, taking to Twitter last month to clarify matters.

"I auditioned for the privilege of joining the incredible cast of The Irishman and I'm incredibly proud to get to be a part of this film," she noted.

Speaking with USA Today over the weekend, De Niro addressed the issue, praising Paquin's performance in the process.


"She was very powerful and that's what it was," said De Niro.

"Maybe in other scenes there could've been some interaction between Frank and her possibly, but that's how it was done. She's terrific and it resonates."

In related news, Martin Scorsese has expressed the wish that people tuning into The Irishman on Netflix refrain from doing so on their phones.

He's open to "a big iPad, maybe" but that's about it. Fair enough.