Robert De Niro joked his career could be extended by “another 30 years” by the technology used to digitally de-age him in highly-anticipated crime film The Irishman.
The Hollywood star, 76, plays gangland enforcer Frank Sheeran in the Netflix production, which is directed by Martin Scorsese and runs to three-and-a-half hours.
The movie spans several decades and shows De Niro’s character from when he is in his 20s up to his 80s, using cutting-edge technology to alter his age.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, two-time Oscar winner De Niro said de-ageing him took “a lot of work to do”, adding: “I’m happy because maybe it’ll extend my career by another 30 years.”
The Irishman also stars Al Pacino and Joe Pesci and is an adaptation of the nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses.
It tells the story of one of the most notorious unsolved mysteries in US criminal history, the disappearance of union boss Jimmy Hoffa.
De Niro, who has had a celebrated career in cinema and appeared in classic films including The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull, explained how he had to film scenes with small dots attached to face to allow special cameras to change his appearance in the production process.
He said the dots were “slight”, adding: “They didn’t want it to get in our way and Marty didn’t want that. ”
De Niro told Fallon The Irishman was not “another Goodfellas”, after comparisons had been made between the two.
Goodfellas, released in 1990, is another crime film directed by Scorsese.
“It’s a very simple story”, De Niro said of his latest film.
“It’s about loyalty, and a guy stuck in the middle of two people and he had to make a choice. It was a matter of survival for him to make the choice he did. Not to give it away.”
De Niro debuted a new trailer for The Irishman, giving fans a glimpse at the de-aged versions of himself, Pacino and Pesci.
The clip features Sheeran receiving his first phone call from Hoffa and telling him he “paints houses”, a euphemism for killing people.
The Irishman will have a theatrical release before arriving on Netflix on November 27.