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.
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.
There are so many people in the cast of "The Irishman" that Anna Paquin only has one line.— Vinny Marino (@VinnyMarino1) November 9, 2019
#AnnaPaquin gets only one line in @TheIrishmanFilm. What was the point of casting her let alone creating the part to begin with?! #TheIrishman #MartinScorsese #Scorsese #RobertDeNiro #Netflix @NetflixFilm @netflix— Rob Rosenberg (@Keepin_Current) October 28, 2019
But Paquin took to Twitter herself to take on the critics.
Nope, nobody was doing any “ordering”. I auditioned for the privilege of joining the incredible cast of .@TheIrishmanFilm and I’m incredibly proud to get to be a part of this film. https://t.co/yx54jE4ugy— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) November 9, 2019
Others have also praised what they deemed a powerfully understated performance.
Hot take: Anna Paquin is excellent in THE IRISHMAN and her lack of dialogue is both the point and what makes her arc so devastating.— Rob Plainview (@ClooneyDisciple) November 4, 2019
In The Irishman, @AnnaPaquin has only one major moment of dialogue, and not only is it a perfectly directed and written moment, her delivery of that dialogue is spot on, and its one of my favorite moments in the entire movie. God, what a great movie this is. #TheIrishman pic.twitter.com/POviocasLf— Shaurya Chawla (@_ShauryaChawla) November 2, 2019
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.
“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.