Robert De Niro defends Anna Paquin's mostly silent role in 's The ...

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She utters a mere seven words over the course of The Irishman's three-and-a-half hour runtime.

As a result, Anna Paquin's role in Martin Scorsese's new mobster epic has been hotly debated on Twitter since the film was released in select theaters on November 1.

Now her co-star Robert De Niro, 76, has come to the defense of the 37-year-old actress' performance, according to USA Today.

Same team: Robert De Niro, 76, came to the defense of his Irishman co-star Anna Paquins' performance, which only features seven words, according to USA Today; pictured in September

Same team: Robert De Niro, 76, came to the defense of his Irishman co-star Anna Paquins' performance, which only features seven words, according to USA Today; pictured in September

'She was very powerful and that's what it was,' said the longtime Scorsese collaborator.

De Niro acknowledged that there were multiple ways to develop the character, but he stood by the mostly silent part as written. 

'Maybe in other scenes there could've been some interaction between Frank and her possibly, but that's how it was done. She's terrific and it resonates.'

Strong performance: 'She was very powerful and that's what it was,' Robert said of Anna. 'Maybe in other scenes there could've been some interaction between Frank and her possibly, but that's how it was done. She's terrific and it resonates'; pictured October 13

Strong performance: 'She was very powerful and that's what it was,' Robert said of Anna. 'Maybe in other scenes there could've been some interaction between Frank and her possibly, but that's how it was done. She's terrific and it resonates'; pictured October 13

In the gangster drama, Robert plays Frank Sheeran, an official in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union who worked closely with union president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).

At the same time, he works covertly as a mob hitman, who claimed to have assassinated Hoffa and gangster 'Crazy Joe' Gallo toward the end of his life.

Anna plays his daughter Peggy Sheeran as an adult. Initially traumatized by his violent reactions as a child, she comes to shun him in later life.

It's not until their family friend Hoffa gone missing that she finally speaks, near the end of the lengthy film.

Two roles: Robert plays Frank Sheeran, a Teamsters union official who worked closely with union president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), before murdering him for the mafia; still from The Irishman

Two roles: Robert plays Frank Sheeran, a Teamsters union official who worked closely with union president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), before murdering him for the mafia; still from The Irishman

Stunning moment: After Hoffa goes missing, his daughter Peggy (Anna Paquin) finally speaks. She asks why he hasn't called Hoffa's wife, though she suspects her father is responsible; still from The Irishman

Stunning moment: After Hoffa goes missing, his daughter Peggy (Anna Paquin) finally speaks. She asks why he hasn't called Hoffa's wife, though she suspects her father is responsible; still from The Irishman

After Frank tells his family he hasn't yet called Hoffa's wife, she asks, 'Why? Why?' while

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