Robert De Niro delivered one of his most memorable performances of the past decade in The Irishman. This mob epic left many people asking the same question – what is his actual eye color?
Stick around to learn more about Robert De Niro’s eye color and his role in The Irishman.
De Niro’s Eyes in “The Irishman”
Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese have been collaborating since the ‘70s and gave us several cult films along the way – including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas. They finally joined forces again in 2019, when the Oscar-nominated crime epic The Irishman came out.
This film has been over a decade in the making, as Scorsese struggled to secure the financing. Visual effects were one of the biggest expenses because it was necessary to make De Niro and his co-stars Al Pacino and Joe Pesci look much younger than they actually are.
The Irishman followed the journey of a labor union official and self-proclaimed hitman Frank Sheeran over the course of several decades. It was based on his book I Heard You Paint Houses, but its credibility was called into question – especially his claims that he killed Jimmy Hoffa.
This crime epic was well-received by the critics and got ten Oscar nominations. The best achievement in visual effects was one of them, but many viewers were puzzled by this aspect of The Irishman and felt it wasn’t one of its strongest suits.
Another thing that was often mocked – apart from the movie’s length – was Robert De Niro’s eye color. They were changed from brown to bright blue so he would resemble Frank Sheeran, but many viewers found this adjustment extremely distracting.
Some of them even mocked De Niro online and compared him to “a cyborg mobster” and said they were haunted by his fake blue eyes after the credits rolled. Even Scorsese admitted that he paid close attention to the way that eyes looked after the CGI de-aging process.
“Certain shots need more work on the eyes, need more work on why these exactly the same eyes from the plate shot, but the wrinkles and things have changed. Does it change the eyes at all? If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?” said Scorsese while discussing his creative process with Joanna Hogg.
De Niro’s Signature Traits
Unlike Frank Sheeran, Robert De Niro doesn’t have striking blue eyes, and there’s nothing distinctive about his eye color. Like the majority of the world’s population, the Oscar-winning actor has brown eyes – and so do many of his family members.
Eye color is influenced by up to 16 different genes, so it’s possible for children in the same family to have different eye colors, but that didn’t happen in De Niro’s case. Most of his kids have dark brown eyes similar to his own.
Robert De Niro’s eye color isn’t one of his signature physical traits, but that doesn’t make his face any less recognizable. He has a very distinctive mole on his cheek, which was visible in many of his most beloved films.
One Twitter user even made fun of his birthmark by writing, “There are now two things visible from space: the Great Wall of China and Robert De Niro’s mole.” The Taxi Driver star read this message on Jimmy Kimmel’s hit segment Mean Tweets and wasn’t too amused by it.
De Niro also happens to be one of the most popular actors to impersonate, due to his distinctive tone of voice and dramatic scowl. The fact that he delivered countless iconic lines throughout his career doesn’t hurt his case – including “You talkin’ to me?” from Taxi Driver.