Robert De Niro recreated classic Goodfellas scene for The Irishman

Scorsese had to be convinced he could make De Niro look 30 years younger in the new film

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 02 September 2019 09:36
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The Irishman - Netflix Official Teaser

Robert De Niro recreated one of his iconic Goodfellas scenes to test the effectiveness of the de-ageing technology used in The Irishman.

In the new Martin Scorsese film, De Niro plays hitman Frank Sheeran as both an 80-year-old and a 24-year old – and it was this task that caused the film to become the most expensive the director has ever worked on.

To work out whether the de-ageing could work, Scorsese looked back at his own films. Before too long, De Niro was acting out the scene from Goodfellas that sees his character, Jimmy Conway, order his associates to get rid of their costly new belongings at a Christmas party.

Speaking to Empire, Scorsese said: “We made a little set that looked a little like the original film, and then Bob got going. He did his monologues and soliloquies and different expressions. ‘Get rid of the fur coat! Get rid of the Cadillac!’ Then he went through a series of computer processes.”

It was after that scene had been put through the de-ageing technology and was shown alongside the original 1990 version that they decided to use it in The Irishman.

“We all decided – this is going to work,” said Scorsese.

Last week, the three-and-a-half-hour runtime for the gangster epic, which has been in development for several years, was revealed.

Based on Charles Brandt’s book I Heard You Paint Houses, The Irishman marks the ninth collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese. The film also stars Joe Pesci and Al Pacino.

The film’s limited theatrical run will start on 1 November before its Netflix premiere on 27 November.

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