Martin Scorsese Explains Why Joe Pesci Broke His Acting Hiatus To Star In ‘The Irishman’

Martin Scorcese? The guy who said all those mean things about Marvel? He’s apparently… [checks notes] …an Oscar-winning filmmaker who has a new movie coming out. The Irishman re-teams Scorsese with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci for the first time since Casino; it’s also Pesci’s first movie, from any director, in nearly a decade.

It wasn’t easy getting the Home Alone star on board, either: Pesci was reportedly asked over 40 times to join the cast. (“I would have done it for free the first time,” said Background Mobster #3 on The Sopranos.) When questioned by Entertainment Weekly why Pesci was hesitant, Scorsese replied, “These are individual choices and sometimes people don’t want to do something for different reasons. It could be, financial issues. You could have that — I’m not saying he did, right? It could be family issues. It could be health. It could be boredom from doing a certain kind of film. Playing a certain character. Ultimately, if Bob asks enough and he pushes enough, does this make sense? Let me put it this way: It would have to be comfortable for [Pesci] to make it, you know?”

But the real reason Joe Pesci is now The Irishman star Joe Pesci?

Pesci ended up agreeing, the director says, after Netflix decided to finance the film… “When Netflix got into the picture — because then we had the backing,” Scorsese says [about] Pesci’s tipping point. “It’s not even about the money or about being compensated and appreciated for your value. It’s about the physicality of [making a film] where nobody’s giving you anything. At a certain age and physicality for the actors, it may not be worth it.” (Via)

Maybe, if the nation catches Joe Pesci fever, Netflix can finally make that sequel to 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag everyone has been asking for. Guess what it’s called.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)