Robert De Niro Tested The Irishman De-Aging Tech With A Classic Goodfellas' Scene
If you were an incredibly famous actor with a raft of critically acclaimed performances behind you, you'd definitely set aside a few moments every so often to recreate your big scenes. You definitely would. Nobody else would be able to shout "Are you talkin' to me??" quite as well as you. You'd never get bored of it.
Robert De Niro recently revisited one of his key scenes, but this time to prove that de-aging technology showcased in The Irishman was really viable. Martin Scorsese has told Empire that to make sure that what he calls the "youthification" technology wasn't going to either end up in the uncanny valley or look unintentionally hilarious, he had De Niro recreate one of the most famous scenes the pair of them have worked on together: the Christmas party scene in Goodfellas.
Let's have a quick look at it shall we? Never a bad idea.
Top stuff. Scorsese did the recreation properly too, gathering together De Niro and Pablo Helman from visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic in August 2015.
"We made a little set that looked a little like the original film, and then Bob got going," Scorsese said. "He did his monologues and soliloquies and different expressions. 'Get rid of the fur coat! Get rid of the Cadillac!' Then he went through a series of computer processes."
Some digital jiggery-pokery later, Scorsese screened the digitally altered remake side by side with the original. That was when, Scorsese said, "We all decided, 'This is going to work'."
Then again, Scorsese said that the idea of not casting De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino was never really an option as far as he was concerned.
"I really had no choice," he said. "The risk was there, and that was it. We just tried to make the film. After sitting on the couch for ten years […] we finally had a way."
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.