Anna Paquin fires back at lack of dialogue in 'The Irishman'

Ben ArnoldContributor
Anna Paquin in The Irishman (Credit: Netflix)
Anna Paquin in The Irishman (Credit: Netflix)

Anna Paquin has hit back over criticism about the amount of dialogue she has in new Martin Scorsese movie The Irishman.

Paquin plays Peggy Sheeran in the movie, the daughter of Robert De Niro's hitman Frank Sheeran, and plays a predominantly silent witness to some of his moments of brutality.

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Read more: Scorsese refutes lack of female characters in his movies

However, in all, she has around six words of dialogue in the movie, and only 10 minutes on screen over the movie’s sprawling 209 minutes, something that has been criticised by some movie fans.

But Paquin took to Twitter herself to take on the critics.

Others have also praised what they deemed a powerfully understated performance.

Scorsese has broached the subject himself, telling director Spike Lee while in conversation on the Director's Cut podcast: 'I kept asking [writer] Steve Zaillian if we could layer her in the story. I decided that she doesn’t have to say anything.

“You see your father do something like that, I’m sorry… You see him crush the guy’s hand like that… other kids maybe, but this kid couldn’t take it.

“She looks at him. She knows he’s up to something and Lucy [Gallina, who plays the young Peggy Sheeran] was great, but Anna ultimately was amazing in the looks.

Read more: Disney boss hits back over Scorsese’s Marvel comments

“She has one line in the film. There’s something you can’t talk about. She knows it. She knows who he is. He knows she knows.”

The director also recently dismissed accusations that his films lack significant female roles out of hand.

Appearing at the Rome Film Festival, he was questioned by an Italian journalist at a press conference why his movies are generally male-dominated.

“That’s not even a valid point,” Scorsese said. “That goes back to 1970. That’s a question that I’ve had for so many years. Am I supposed to... If the story doesn’t call for it, then it’s a waste of everybody’s time. If the story calls for a female character lead, why not?”

Scorsese has made films with dominant female characters, including The Age of Innocence and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, while Sharon Stone stole the show in Casino.

The Irishman hits Netflix on November 27.

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