Stephen Graham 'in awe' of Robert De Niro

Stephen Graham 'in awe' of Robert De Niro

Stephen Graham was in "awe" of Robert De Niro when they worked together on 'The Irishman'.

The 46-year-old English actor plays gangster Anthony 'Tony Pro' Provenzano in the Mafia drama and he admits it was a life-long dream to get to appear in a Martin Scorsese movie and act alongside his Hollywood hero De Niro.

In an interview with Total Film magazine, he said: "A phone call came through: 'Marty (Scorsese) really wants you to be in this film that he's doing. You're going to have to fly out to New York, though. He wants you, but you've got to meet Bob.' I was like, 'Bob? Robert De Niro."

Recalling their first meeting, Graham added: "Bob was a little bit late. And he just walks in the door, and he's got a cap on, and a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, with a paper under his arm, and was just like 'Hello'. I was really in awe."

Although he was "dead nervous" about speaking with 'Goodfellas' star De Niro, 76, Graham eventually plucked up the courage to talk to him about his life-long love of his work.

The 'This Is England' star said: "At the end of it, I said: "I've got to say this to you: you've been a hero to me. I've been brought up on your films. You were an inspiration to me as an actor.'"

Graham also recalled how Scorsese, 77, pointed out how both men had played Al Capone in their careers, De Niro portraying Capone in the 1987 film 'The Untouchables' whilst Stephen played the prohibition gangster in 'Boardwalk Empire'.

He said: "Martin went, 'Oh, you two have got something in common.' I was like, 'What?' Then Marty went, 'You've both played Al Capone.'

"And De Niro went, 'Yeah, and you were great. Your Capone was fantastic.' "