Martin Scorsese Tells Spike Lee How Donald Trump Influenced The Irishman’s Mobsters

The Irishman Martin Scorsese Spike Lee Trump

Martin Scorsese told Spike Lee at a Directors Guild of America panel that President Donald Trump was a looming influence on Scorsese’s new film The Irishman.

The story of mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (Robert De Niro) and labor boss Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) makes no reference to Trump, but the mobsters in the film do use some of the president’s techniques to get what he wants, Scorsese told Lee.

“There was resonance, no doubt, in those scenes,” Scorsese said. “I think you can see how pressure is applied, how things are said but not said. Yet, technically, you can say they didn’t say this. You follow?”

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Scorsese’s explanation came in response to a question from an audience member. Scorsese said he shot The Irishman in 2017, the year Trump took office. Since then, the film has undergone CGI de-aging to help Pacino and De Niro shed decades to play Hoffa and Sheeran at various points in their lives.

“When we were doing it we were very aware of the nature of the world around us at that point,” Scorsese told Lee.

Lee then asked Scorsese if he has seen De Niro talk about “Agent Orange.”

“Agent Orange?” Scorsese asked.

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“The president,” Lee explained. “I don’t call him by his name.”

“I don’t go out. I’m home,” Scorsese said. “I don’t go out much.” But he indicated he was aware of De Niro’s comments.

De Niro said last month on CNN’s Reliable Sources that he thinks Trump and some of his supporters on Fox News may be acting.

“I can’t believe that they would actually buy into this craziness. This guy should not be president, period,” De Niro said.

When host Brian Stelter reminded the Irishman star of the time he cursed out Trump during a Tony Awards telecast, De Niro chimed in, “F— him. F— him.”

You can listen to Spike Lee’s full Q&A with Martin Scorsese about The Irishman on “The Director’s Cut” podcast.

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