Preview: Martin Scorsese, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro on "The Irishman"


In their first-ever joint TV interview, the director and actors talk about their first collaboration, an acclaimed mob epic about a hit man and the fate of union leader Jimmy Hoffa.

CBS News

In their first-ever joint television interview, cinematic giants Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Martin Scorsese talk about working together on "The Irishman," as well as the changing film business, in an interview with Lee Cowan for "CBS Sunday Morning," to be broadcast October 20.

The film, funded by Netflix, marks the first time Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel have all worked together. "All I can say is, it's about time," Pacino told Cowan.

"The Irishman" (based on the book "I Heard You Paint Houses" by Charles Brandt) is a mob epic about hit man Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran and the murder of the controversial Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa.

Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), accompanied by Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), in "The Irishman." Netflix

Scorsese said he couldn't get major studios to touch the film, which cost $160 million to make, and uses computer-generated images to make the actors appear younger. The director said it wouldn't have been produced without the streaming service Netflix.

"No, never would have gotten made, because they're not making, they don't wanna make the pictures I wanna make out there," Scorsese said of traditional film studios. "It's over. It's finished."

[The film opens in theatres on November 1, before streaming on Netflix starting November 27.]

For film fans, getting De Niro, Pacino and Scorsese together in the same project is significant. "I always knew it that it would be a special thing, no matter what happened – that we would create something and do something together all of us," De Niro said. "It was gonna be special, no matter what. You can't take that away from us. That's all. It gets a good reaction? That's even better."

The film is not "Goodfellas" or "The Godfather," according to Scorsese and the actors; it's a reckoning – a taking stock of lives lived hard.

Pacino said he wants people to leave the theatre feeling something: "Something comes off that is almost, you know, sort of ephemeral. It's hard to say what it is, but you feel it. It's affecting in that sense. And you don't even know why."

De Niro added: "It's about getting older and what's happening, and with us. It's about that. It's about getting older, and just realistic – this is what it is."

For more info:

To watch a trailer for "The Irishman" click on the video player below:

The Irishman | Official Teaser by Netflix on YouTube

The Emmy Award-winning "Sunday Morning" is broadcast on CBS Sundays beginning at 9 a.m. ET, and is rebroadcast on Pop TV at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT. "Sunday Morning" also streams on CBSN beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET and repeated at 1 p.m. ET, and is available on, CBS All Access and On Demand.

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