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The Irishman's Joe Pesci Couldn't Understand Stephen Graham's Accent

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The Irishman's Joe Pesci Couldn't Understand Stephen Graham's Accent

I'm a big fan of a Scouse accent, but I think we can all agree that it can take a bit of getting used to if you've not been around it much; The Irishman's Joe Pesci is no different, to the point that he asked Stephen Graham to speak in character off set.

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Speaking to Graham Norton on is upcoming New Year's Eve special, Stephen Graham looked back at the slightly shaky start he had with the actor when filming Scorcese's latest release.

Of course, Joe Pesci is know for his broad Italian-American accent, while Stephen comes from Liverpool, and therefore, has a Liverpudlian accent - as you can see him try to teach to Tom Hanks in the clip above.

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He first discussed the first time he met Robert De Niro, who was also part of the A list cast. He said: "He is one of my heroes, someone I had grown up with. I was extremely nervous, as you can imagine, but he was lovely and very nice.

"I was only supposed to be there for 20 minutes and I was there for two hours. The meeting went well!"

But it went down slightly differently when he met Pesci. Stephen admitted it was slightly uncomfortable. He told Graham: "Awkward is not the word.

"It was the first couple of days of filming, and I was told that he wanted to see me. He asked, 'Where are you from?' I said, 'I'm from England, Liverpool' and he went, 'You're not Italian?' I apologised for it and he was like, 'Okay, you'd better do this right,' to which I said, 'I'll do my best.'"

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Credit: Graham Norton
Credit: Graham Norton

However, it turns out that he thought Stephen had surpassed his expectations in the role, which is a huge compliment coming from someone who apparently knew Stephen's character, Tony Provenzano.

Stephen, originally from Kirkby, said: "A few days later he came up to me and said, 'You're doing really well, come and have some dinner. But then he said, 'Why are you talking like that? Why don't you talk as your character so I can understand you?'"

It's not known whether he decided to dull down his accent for Pesci, but when one of the Wet Bandits themselves asks you to do something, you tend to go along with it, don't you?

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The Irishman dropped on Netflix at the end of November, and is already being touted as one of Scorcese's best films - with fans raving about both Pesci and Graham's performances.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Amelia Ward
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