Netflix went all out for the Los Angeles premiere of “The Irishman,” celebrating a $160 million film the only way the streamer could since the film boasts such A-list talent and director. The black carpet outside the TCL Chinese Theatre was transformed into a New York City street with storefronts and replicas of sets from the film. Vintage cars lined up opposite the throngs of fans gathered on Hollywood Boulevard to watch the spectacle.
“This is kind of a cool throwback to when they would really do up a premiere, you know?” Ray Romano told Variety on the carpet. “And this [street decor] is like my family and I grew up in Queens, but very Italian and this is the real deal.”
Though Romano was referring to the massive production on the carpet as “the real deal,” the actor could’ve just as easily been describing the trio of acting titans assembled onscreen — as Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star together for the first time in a picture by Martin Scorsese.
Acknowledging that seeing collaboration come together on screen is a big moment for fans of the actors, De Niro said that the legacy of the film for him personally comes down to the fact “that we were able to do it. And we were able to do something that we all wanted to do, and loved doing. It was very special… If it’s perceived well, that’s wonderful.”
“The Irishman” tells the story of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (De Niro), his career as a hitman and the role he may have played in the disappearance of labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino), using special visual effects to de-age the actors onscreen in order to play the men over the span of several decades. In addition to this groundbreaking technology and the historic collaboration onscreen, “The Irishman” is most notable for its association with Netflix, as the streamer produced the big budget film and will distribute it both theatrically and on its streaming platform.
“[Netflix] were great. They gave us the money that we needed to do the project and the support,” De Niro, also a produer on the project, said. “It was an ambitious project, and needed that support and we were very lucky to have them give it.”
But has the Oscar-winner attempted to watch the film on a small screen yet, like some audiences will at home? “No. Later, I will,” De Niro quipped. “Maybe I’ll look at it on my iWatch sometime.”
Of the film’s dual release strategy, Romano argued both sides of the coin. “It’s good that it’s going to be on the small screen cause more people can see it,” Romano explained. “But I mean, if ever there was an argument that this type of way to watch a movie hopefully never goes away, it’s this movie. To sit in a huge theater and see the art of it. It’s hard to see it on your watch, you know? But if you can’t see it except your watch, then okay.”
“The Irishman” also stars Harvey Keitel, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jack Huston, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Paul Ben-Victor, and Katherine Narducci joined special guests like Rosanna Arquette, Juliette Lewis, Catherine O’Hara, Edgar Ramirez, Jesse Williams, Lea Thompson, Billy Idol and Justin Timberlake to celebrate the groundbreaking evening. After the screening, Netflix took over the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel for a poolside soiree, transporting guests into a ’60s era rally for Jimmy Hoffa, with campaign banners and buttons supporting the union leader, while guests enjoyed the hot dog and sundae bars or “Irishman” themed cocktails and custom rolled cigars.
“The Irishman” is in theaters on Nov. 1 and begins streaming Nov. 27 on Netflix.