Robert De Niro’s Opinions on Technology’s Limits in Film Are Wild For a Guy in ‘The Irishman’

     October 11, 2019


Robert De Niro is the latest A-lister to open up with his own thoughts about the state of film these days. On the heels of his longtime buddy and The Irishman director Martin Scorsese making waves for comments about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, De Niro — who stars in The Irishman — took the stage to make his own spicy comments at the London Film Festival.

Following a showing of The Irishman on Friday at the festival, De Niro sat down for a Q&A. According to Screen Daily, the conversation turned to The Irishman‘s use of digital de-aging technology and whether it affected De Niro’s performance while filming. The Irishman star’s reply was a real humdinger:


Image via Netflix

The technological stuff can only go so far. It’s not going to change other things. If it does to such a point it becomes something that is not what a person is, what a human is. It can be another type of entertainment, like comic strip things, Marvel. The comic book character-type things, cartoony stuff.

Look, I’m not going to go toe-to-toe with the man who can say he’s played both a taxi driver and a dirty grandpa in his decades-long career, but, uh, De Niro’s definitely seen how bonkers he looks digitally de-aged, right? In case you need to refresh your memory, just look at the above photo, where De Niro’s Irishman character, Frank Sheeran, is somewhere in his late 20s/early 30s. Our guy looks — yes, I’m gonna say it — cartoony. It’s truly wild to claim too much technology can affect a film to the point it becomes another, more cartoony type of entertainment when that photo is evidence of what can happen when you digitally de-age De Niro.

The Irishman star managed to redeem himself by offering up some #VeryGood opinions about actors whose work he currently and sincerely admires. Among the actors he name-checked were American Hustle co-star Christian BaleIrishman co-star Stephen GrahamJoker co-star Joaquin Phoenix, and Cate Blanchett. My guy!

For more on Joker, which is currently in theaters, check out our ending explainerThe Irishman will have a short theatrical run beginning November 1 before officially debuting on November 29.

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