Joe Pesci has only starred in six movies in the past 20 years, and according to the Oscar-winning actor’s Goodfellas costar, Robert De Niro, even iconic director Martin Scorsese can’t convince him to come back for more.
In a rare public appearance, Pesci joined De Niro onstage during Saturday’s Guys Choice Awards, where one of the pair’s cinematic collaborations with Scorsese, 1995’s Casino, was inducted into the “Guy Movie Hall of Fame.” During the induction speech, De Niro reflected on making the film, but stressed his desire to get back to work with his Casino crew on Scorsese’s upcoming directorial return to the mobster genre, The Irishman, which Pesci has reportedly declined to join.
“Casino had Sharon Stone, Jimmy Woods, and Don Rickles, and it was the last time that… Joe and I did a picture with Marty. But, hopefully that is gonna change, Joe,” De Niro said. “Marty and I are planning to get back together for a movie I think will be a future ‘Guy Hall of Fame’ entry, that is if Joe has any more f—s left in him. So far all he keeps saying is ‘Go f— yourself.’”
After a short pause, Pesci responded: “Thank you Bob… I think. You insulted me just a little bit, just a little bit. It is okay, I am used to it… Anyway, I would like to say thank you for the honor.” Pesci went on to discuss his career, explaining how it’s easy to look good around strong actors like De Niro. “I appreciate the accolades and everything, but [you] cannot be good by yourself. Every actor will tell you the better the actors around you, the better you are going to be.”
The Irishman, a long-gestating project that would see Scorsese reunite with De Niro after working with him on several films, including Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, focuses on the life of Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a Teamster with connections to the criminal dealings of the Bufalino family in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Sheeran, who died in 2003, also allegedly confessed to his involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in addition to killing Jimmy Hoffa.
Steve Zaillian, who previously wrote the screenplay for Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, penned The Irishman script. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Al Pacino is currently on board with the project as well, though Pesci is still on the fence about returning to the big screen for a role in the film. The actor, who won an Academy Award for his role in Goodfellas, was last credited with lending his voice to 2015 animated film A Warrior’s Tail. He also starred opposite Helen Mirren in 2010’s Love Ranch and had a small role in De Niro’s sophomore directorial effort, The Good Shepherd, in 2006.
The Guys Choice Awards air June 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV.
–Reporting by Scott Huver