De Niro defends Paquin's small role in The Irishman

Los Angeles: Actor Robert De Niro has come forward to defend the mostly silent role of Anna Paquin in the Netflix movie, The Irishman, saying it might be a small role but is very powerful.

In Martin Scorsese's over three-hour long The Irishman, Paquin says only seven words.

"She was very powerful and that's what it was," quoted De Niro as saying.

"Maybe in other scenes there could've been some interaction between Frank and her possibly, but that's how it was done. She's terrific and it resonates," he added. In the film, Oscar-winning Paquin, 37, features as De Niro's daughter named Peggy Sheeran.

Many viewers believe Peggy's silence speaks volumes, calling the character the "conscience (and) moral standing of the movie". But some people have called out The Irishman for apparently wasting its most prominent female character and actor. "Scorsese rarely services women in his film but they might as well not even be in this film. Anna Paquin did a lot of staring and quivering her lip and we've all seen enough of that in 'True Blood' sis," writer/podcast host Ira Madison III said.

Paquin addressed the criticism earlier this month, after one Twitter user suggested that she was forced to accept a seemingly thankless role. "Nobody was doing any 'ordering'. I auditioned for the privilege of joining the cast of The Irishman and I'm incredibly proud to get to be a part of this film," Paquin tweeted.

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