Robert De Niro is out defending The Irishman from claims that the movie is based on lies. The movie is currently in select theaters in North America and it has been receiving rave reviews from just about everybody. Critics are calling it one of the best performances of De Niro's career, along with Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and director Martin Scorsese. However, it has run into some backlash from those who believe the movie is not truthful.
The Irishman is based on Charles Brandt's book I Heard You Paint Houses. In the book, Brandt interviews former mobster Frank Sheeran, who is played by Robert De Niro in the movie. From the interviews, Sheeran talks about his involvement in the disappearance of infamous union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa investigator Dan Moldea claims that Sheeran's words are untrue, therefore making the movie untruthful. Robert De Niro had this to say in response.
"Dan is a well-respected writer. I met him in D.C. for a writers thing where they get together every year. He said that we were getting conned. I wasn't getting conned. I have no problem with people disagreeing. He of course is an authority on Hoffa and everything else. As Marty says, we're not saying we're telling the actual story, we're telling our story. I believed it."
Frank Sheeran says that he was the one who actually killed Jimmy Hoffa, which Dan Moldea believes to be false. In fact, Sheeran's words on the subject have been doubted many times over the years, but as Robert De Niro says, they were trying to tell their story in The Irishman. And, De Niro seems to believe Sheeran's account of what happened. He explains.
"I know one thing - I know all the stuff that Frank said, the descriptions of the places he was at, the way he talked, that's all real. The way he describes what happened to Hoffa is a very plausible thing to me. I'd love to hear what actually happened to him. But this made a lot of sense to me."
One theory surrounding the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa states the union leader was buried underneath the New York Giant's football stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. However, Robert De Niro chooses not to believe that theory because it seems like it would be too hard to get rid of the body when having to go through cement. The legendary actor is probably right about that, though we'll probably never know for sure.
In the end, Robert De Niro shrugs off The Irishman criticism. "Whatever. I believe this. I'd be happy to hear the actual truth, if there is one," says the actor. Whatever the case may be, the movie is getting good reviews for adapting Charles Brandt's book on the big screen. The interview with Robert De Niro was originally conducted by IndieWire. The Irishman premieres November 27th on Netflix.