What The Real-Life Characters Behind The Irishman Looked Like

 

What The Real-Life Characters Behind The Irishman Looked Like

2021/02/19

Frank Sheeran, the loyal Teamster operative, mob hitman and — if you believe his story — killer of the infamous Jimmy Hoffa, was afforded a luxury that very few of his peers enjoyed: He was allowed to grow old. Sheeran met Buffalino in 1955, and while many of his compatriots met violent ends during that time, Sheeran lived until 2004, when he died of cancer.



In The Irishman, Robert De Niro plays Sheeran at every step of his life's journey, and while the actor bears more than a passing resemblance to the titular Irishman during his younger days, the physical similarities really kick in when the movie begins to explore the later parts of Sheeran's life. The entire movie is narrated by an elderly, wheelchair-bound Sheeran who's reflecting on his various misdeeds, and the way that De Niro looks in these cutaways — the tired slump, the bags under his eyes, the semi-permanent scowl — capture the real Sheeran's look perfectly.


More importantly, De Niro captures Sheeran's casual attitude as he looks back on his life and all of the horrible things that he's done and witnessed. For someone confessing to murder, Sheeran is remarkably nonchalant about the whole thing. To him, it's just work. As the assassin, De Niro embodies that blue-collar, no-nonsense approach towards killing. It's one big reason why The Irishman lead is such an interesting, if unappealing, character, and it comes straight from the source.



















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