Robert DeNiro addressed the criticism against Anna Paquin’s role and her an incredibly limited number of lines in The Irishman.
The Irishman has gotten pretty solid critical acclaim since it released on Netflix in late November. Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci delivered powerhouse performances.
However, there has been some criticism of the film thanks to Anna Paquin’s part in the movie and her extremely limited number of lines. In fact, the Oscar-winning Paquin only had about 10 lines over the course of the film’s three-and-a-half-hour runtime.
Robert DeNiro has officially come out in defense of the role. As Variety reports, DeNiro told USA Today, “She was very powerful and that’s what it was. 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.”
And that has generally seemed to be the overall explanation of the role. That, yes, Paquin didn’t have many lines, but the part itself was a smaller part.
In fact, in addition to Robert DeNiro explaining the smaller role, Paquin herself came to the defense of her role in The Irishman on Twitter.
Nope, nobody was doing any “ordering”. I auditioned for the privilege of joining the incredible cast of .@TheIrishmanFilm and I’m incredibly proud to get to be a part of this film. https://t.co/yx54jE4ugy
— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) November 9, 2019
In the quoted tweet, Paquin explains that she auditioned for the role and the “privilege of joining the incredible cast” of The Irishman. Her tweet is in response to a tweet from Sasha Stone of Awards Dailym, which implies Paquin took the part, regardless of the size, simply for a chance to be in a Scorsese flick.
And, to be sure, it’s a huge honor and a likely a tick off of many professional actors’ bucket lists to have a film in their portfolio from an acclaimed director like Scorsese.
While it could be argued that Paquin’s role was simply a smaller one like Anna Paquin and Robert DeNiro have explained, it has felt to many to be symptomatic of a problem in Hollywood of relegating women to parts with far fewer lines (for instance, Margot Robbie’s nearly-silent role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).
Of course, it will be up to audiences to decide. You can stream The Irishman on Netflix now.