Robert De Niro on reuniting with Scorsese and de-aging in 'The Irishman'

The actor talks to Peter Travers about the making of "The Irishman."
17:50 | 12/20/19

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Transcript for Robert De Niro on reuniting with Scorsese and de-aging in 'The Irishman'
In any event it's my favorite movie of this year. And the star of that movie Robert De Niro. It's here today so Bob welcome thank you while that of the U. I am too mean we've talked before about this but you've done this movie with Martin score says you and your co stars and people think that's three and a half now. Hmmm I can watch. You know and they can watch it at home they can watch in the theater but did that. Shake you guys when you were doing did you say what are we doing three and a half out. We'll nobody. New what does the length of the movie was. I mean Marty could have an idea and he. I should go I'm not surprised it was three and a half whatever would have been. But it mind reels the strongest feeling I had of course is that whatever. It should be it should be and Marty makes that way and that's it does but that's as it should be put him. His stature as a filmmaker his right as a filmmaker to tell a story in the way that he wants to do it. Whenever that is he has as good reasons for so those. Well it's such reflective. Movie even though it's about gangsters and it's about people who. Twist the system in different ways but. Who is this frank shear in that you play real guy who is the way I understand that from the story is that he was a guy who. So a lot of combat in the Second World War is street guy. Irish American. From Camden, New Jersey and Philadelphia area and and he. Came out and just by chance who ran into the awfully you know character played by Joseph Pesci and then. He. Something likable about him you. Hopefully no liked him they talked about what commonplace they hang Alley the way we've interpreted and slowly he did things for buffalo Leno buff we know trusted him. And and he introduced of the half of them and that's how it happened in the became part of that world which is. Of course very insular. But with someone like him to have the talent if you want to call. For frank Sharon come into it was. An interest in. Experienced. Loss or leave it to good segue to this clip that we I'm. Which we should look at because you've set it up so perfectly without even knowing we had. OK if the cuts. Oh. Is that friends. Are your friend this is Jimmy. Estimates yet to meet you too human events over the phone. I heard you paint houses. Yes yes all right I do I do an idea. Goes boom boom carpentry are. I understand your brother Martin yes local 107 since 1947. Oh. Our friend speaks very you. Thank you are easy man to please. I do my best. Yet. Well so. The book that this is based I heard you pay half test is code for watt. Killing some yes and doing your own carpentry work as you clean up the mess still an active and it's not all perfect circle at one stop shop at. I urge you do that now we're looking at that scene which is early in the movie so everybody looks younger yeah. Can you explain this process through which this happen we'll it was duster like Matt and magic and Pablo Helmand. Was in charge of it and they wanted to make it. The best that this has never been to date. That was the that was exciting for me in for us and knowing that ambulance. To do the best they can. And hopefully we got close. To that point well dipping into the deep it's a different processes is like the first time. We've actually seen it done to this extent can. Yes yes I I don't normally in this gone this far it was also the way it was done because Marty was concerned about. Let's having sort of gadgetry Imus since the helmets of this and that which would be a distraction for the act it is absolutely. It was pretty simple in a bunch of reflecting kind of things jackets in. Rejecting dots on faced imperceptibly east in perceptible dots on the practically. Face yep. And I guess than that come after each take and take a lot of pictures and cameras and cameras and equipment. Bring. Kind of a special silver bowl and the reference I don't know Ozal. All this stuff three cameras and sometimes we have as many as three. Three I'd cameras read our cameras that are just what they have like different lenses on them I guess there. There I don't know I guess to get every kind of possible facial things so that they can work with that to the age you. And a shape as you know. Out could be consistently people. But what about when you're basically playing younger. And you're not what do you have do you do the movements have dissolved that will I was you know that was something to that I that I hear them. I guess because I didn't feel that I was. My physical. Movements were. As aged as someone might suspect. What's or think we're see. Like. Gap and we had a guy named Gary too called McCain musical movement coach and doctors' actual. His title. But he would taps on the backs if we're slouch you something's sitting down enough standing up straight straight enough one tunnels running down. The status and I was kind of looked tentative as it went down the east is. And house post be in my thirties so he showed recent you know you go down like that I should do right now I did go now like these that. This is what your eighth or ninth movie night. No movie and yet he took like twenty years more than twenty years to get you guys backed again. Well we wanted to get to work together earlier. Money one me Vivian again. And should fifty. Guys in the opener but that was hard because I it was shooting in Italy and the united spent a lot of time away from city and I couldn't do that at that time. But groups to us disappointed and upset I couldn't but Daniel Day-Lewis was that the part that I was whom he was great. And and then I did and that the part of that was supposed to do something. But then again I was working. The good shepherd and it was impossible for me to leave I left. I was afraid the whole production fall apart so and so that over the years you were trying in and getting. The movie that we were intending to do the winter of franking machine that. Whose green lit I forget exactly how many. How long it took for us to get to the point of saying we're everybody committing to doing it. So that's another period of time. And then when we decided turnaround decided to do or Japan houses instead of that movie. More time test for ten a twelve years. So it's like old home week with you and Marty he and Joseph Pesci you've worked with before yes. But for Marty Alpa chino was the first this is a new thing with him. Yeah I mean they at times it almost worked together but this was the time see in this is great to be out show. Marty directly in this project this this is going to be no peace hopefully it'll be. Special will be special. An it was received especially that's even. How do you know when Marty is pleased with the cake. What does he do. Who just who says that's great and good corporate we gotta you know whatever you it's written. What happens when he doesn't think it's great. Who don't do they said that it could get to a better place yet we'll just say let's try another one speaking of this in baton you know maybe whatever of the the reasons that he didn't. Field take to that take if you Weldon. How it can be improved who conveyed to me oh well he's directing. In them in a way that doesn't disturb the peace are in I don't know but that's what we would have you have a haven't you know that whatever you do is okay it's not like. Ono Bono when you to roll mythic. The most import thing with the director. Is that there are very. Kind in the and directing of everyone because people you you have to when they know that they can trust you when you do. Two and in a kind way. Constructive. Way to criticism to then and so allowed a lot more fun and people want to give. Their best because I don't feel that the treated the way it's not kind that you looking at you when the movies finished. And so it's not where you have to stay into character what kind of critic are you have you. Well sometimes I look at a movie and I I'd field. Vanity things which have nothing to do than what the audience would. So you have to like divorce yourself from that. And like I talk to the editor of something was even that the aging film school mechanized so you know maybe it's my own vanity but. I don't know if you need that are trying to. Shall less weight so you think she said don't know it's okay it's right for this period right so late I just wanna be sure I don't wanna waste time on its affiliates. That is just that a vanity thing wolf that still in the process I mean when you I don't know how often you watch. Your own movies the rest I don't no nothing. Rarely has no temptation to go back. No you know I mean and many many many years later I would look at something if I catch on television of them going through channels. Was. What do people recognize you for the most. When they body when they come up on the street side a lot of fans when they they have pictures from casino. The from an Asian people from goodfellas. Taxi driver yeah meet the parent is the Paris. Those who I noticed in general you level. I wish you a couple of levs. But go back to that time in the beginning when you started to work with Marty score says what was. Who were you guys that what we've feeling. We were lucky to be making movies and and getting paid pretty well for and Marty and I and we do certain films. I would. We would talk about. Between set ups. About. Seeing and what it meant and what it. What the mine is this an equivalent of something in my life could apply to this season. Those specifics and details debut somehow that would something to be aware of putting into the seemed somehow in whatever form. And you get added to it but you're not really thinking of yourself because if I were looking at myself at the age yeah way I think. What was I do when I was frank yearns image and I was starting out in whatever I was abused its interest thing about that character. That he does have the war experience yes in some way. He's he knows had to kill yes. And he's learned basically to put that in a box yes I mean that that's. Something that I think he. Because of his experience in that area. Became. Sort of numb to renew or to appease stated intent to two that. Things so when he came to the states even though he knows he's in the back to the states back to civilian life. The bottom line is he had had a lot of experience doing this only. I don't see how could have made it easier for him system the action itself in everything around that. The consequences is and another thing. It's so interesting because he playing this one kind of gangster you could go back to you being in the untouchables. We're Al Capone is nothing this. No this guy's like lead back. And he's just taking everything in via walk opponent got the baseball bat again. And then you've done comedy. You know you brought up meet the parents before me the Fokker. When you like most do you enjoy doing this kind of thing and I enjoy those who have fun to do. You mean even on S and now. You know your your Robert Mueller is I don't know if he's comic. We're laughing because we have to laugh that. The world that we live their life that it yet neither of those a role. Things. And enjoy doing him happy to do professional and load Michaels about what. You know look what I do is send them. You know I should what about. Mullen and so sad thinking about that and have given you thought of when I was saying we can deuce wherever about it we finally got to that point but it happened to happen. Well Bob what is gonna ask you couple questions that come from outside the world in the Internet and they create fast. Emil Dumont says what was the most uninteresting character you played interest thing that that. Loaded word. Well I did these this character and the irishman frank share in. Raging bull. I like the thing called everybody's fine was a remake of Tutsis tunnels bending that interest thing because that movie doesn't have the profile. Of some of these other John Owens and yet. That's the kind of thing when somebody is an admirer viewers systems and should look at. You know given that appeal of these things back okay one more here. How well I guess it's there we. Altitude Culver says what's the hardest part of being hassled liberty very different than being an actor. It's OK sometimes give them people around the ask a lot of questions are you massive situation. Listen I'm very lucky I'm I have no complaints. The comes with the territory of all the other stuff. If you feel that you're in the situation that is too much overwhelming and you know try to avoid it. Sometimes. You know. But it it's OK well sometimes you can't do it sometimes it's. The kept perfect storm of things you have the irishman this year in the you're Joker yeah now which is that caused a lot. Questions and the intensity yes even Marty said look a marvel movies aren't cinema you share and that. Will mark and Marty I'd. He voted. And wonderful piece in the New York Times. About it and I. I must say. When he says that I agree with a but I don't. Really. Know enough about. Everything else that those movies I don't watch some of them have been hardly ever offered anything hearts in them except the joneses actually that sword you know I don't really. But he I think he has a valid point but I'm not saying yes those movies because I don't know when people do them when. Heartened feeling I have the same sentiments as everybody else and so. And you know you look you can. Do the work and films do things. He's talking about telling a story be let kennel to a telling a story having X something that's more. More personal and not by committees and some like election. Yeah I'm wolf you know there's there's a lot of formula you don't want that no one has seen them and you said the words heart and feeling you know. Which when I say goodbye as the DQ the last time you were here we always end in song. And I'm sure you prepared something. Form of ethnic. It. Well I don't know how you could around the music in your heart the last time but you did did what I saying you saying you are my sunshine. Alone and now it's Christmas so you know okay silent line of jingle bells. Go ahead deal announced in of those general rule you know opponent most of the one horse open flew. Didn't know that it would go to jingle bell. We'll need a careful what they al-Qaeda. Thank you very.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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