Robert De Niro brushes off claims that The Irishman film tells fictional story about Jimmy Hoffa's fate: 'I wasn't getting conned'
- The film's premise has been called into question by federal investigators
- 'We're not saying we're telling the actual story, we're telling our story,' he said
- De Niro portrays the titular role of Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran in the movie
- The Irishman is based on Charles Brandt's 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses
- De Niro has collaborated with Scorsese on mob movies Goodfellas and Casino
- The all-star cast includes Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, Ray Romano and Harvey Keitel
Robert De Niro stands behind The Irishman.
The two-time Academy Award winner, 76, said he has confidence in his upcoming collaboration with director Martin Scorsese amid skepticism about the movie's authenticity from federal investigators and reporters who worked on the case.
'As Marty says, we're not saying we're telling the actual story, we're telling our story,' De Niro, who plays the titular role of Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran in the film, told IndieWire Wednesday. 'I believed it.'
The latest: Robert De Niro, 76, said Wednesday he has confidence in his new film The Irishman amid skepticism about the movie's authenticity from federal investigators and reporters who worked on the case. He was snapped at the film's LA premiere last month
Scorseses latest cinematic endeavor tells a tale about Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa and his fate within the mob.
De Niro defended the film, which is based on Charles Brandt's 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses, following a piece from The Daily Beast earlier this month which cast doubt on the soundness of the story.
Investigator Dan Moldea — who worked on the case — told the outlet he advised De Niro nearly five years ago not to make the film based on major inaccuracies he found with the source material.
The main issue Moldea found was that Sheeran fatally shot Hoffa in the head in a Detroit house.
Point of view: De Niro said about the motion picture, 'We're not saying we're telling the actual story, we're telling our story'
Moving forward: De Niro said he found the material to be authentic enough to proceed with confidence in telling the story of Hoffa, who is portrayed by Al Pacino in the movie
'I was very aggressive,' Moldea told the outlet. 'I knew I had a finite period of time with this guy. I had to get to the point. I told him, "Bob, you're being conned." I told him in no uncertain terms, "Bob, you are being conned."'
De Niro opened up in detail about the exchange, which took place amid a dinner in Washington D.C. in December of 2014.
'Dan is a well-respected writer,' he said of the investigator who also collaborated with Scorsese on the famed mob movies Goodfellas and Casino. '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.'
De Niro said he found the material to be authentic enough to proceed with confidence in telling the story of Hoffa, who is portrayed by Al Pacino in the movie.
Key roles: De Niro plays the titular role of Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran in the film
'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,' De Niro said. '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.'
In the chat, De Niro said he's long been skeptical of the widely-circulated theory Hoffa's remains were buried under the former New York Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
'What, you're going to take a body and carry it through and put it in the cement?' he said. 'That's not going to be the most expeditious way of doing it.
'Maybe it was done in a different way by the same Detroit people. Whatever. I believe this. I'd be happy to hear the actual truth, if there is one.'
The Irishman has an impressive ensemble cast, also featuring Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, Ray Romano and Harvey Keitel. The film is playing now in select theaters, and begins streaming November 27 on Netflix.
Movie-making: De Niro and director Martin Scorsese were seen working on the movie last year in New York