The Oscar winner only says seven words in Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour film, which prominently features De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.
She stars as Peggy Sheeran, the daughter of De Niro’s Frank Sheeran.
Some have praised Paquin’s performance and have found her presence in the movie meaningful, regardless of her number of lines. Others, however, have viewed her part as a missed opportunity.
De Niro praised Paquin’s performance in an interview with USA Today, insisting her role is “powerful” as it is.
“She was very powerful and that’s what it was,” he told the newspaper.
De Niro added: “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.”
Paquin herself has spoken positively of the role. She tweeted earlier this month: ”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.”
As for Scorsese, he has previously offered his justification for not expanding the role of Peggy, saying he had ultimately decided that she “doesn’t have to say anything” and that Paquin ”ultimately was amazing in the looks”.