Anna Paquin has an important role in “The Irishman,” but you couldn’t tell it by her lines.
Paquin plays Peggy Sheeran, the adult daughter of Mafia hitman Frank Sheeran, portrayed by Robert De Niro. Hers is the seventh-billed role.
Paquin’s sole piece of dialogue comes after Hoffa goes missing and Frank Sheeran reveals that he has not reached out to Hoffa’s wife.
“Why?” Peggy asks Frank, to which he responds “Wha?”
“Why?” she asks again
“Why what?” Frank says.
“Why haven’t you called Jo?,” she asks.
The paucity of lines has stirred debate between those who think her silence in other scenes speaks volumes and viewers who complain she was underused.
De Niro praised Paquin’s role in an interview with USA Today.
“She was very powerful, and that’s what it was,” he said. “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.”
Last month Paquin addressed rumors she was forced to appear in the film with a tweet from her official account.
“Nope, nobody was doing any ‘ordering,’” she tweeted. “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.”
Paquin, 37, won the supporting-actress Oscar for “The Piano” (1993). Her credits include the starring role in all seven seasons of the TV series “True Blood.”