AMAZING photos show Line of Duty star Stephen Graham rubbing shoulders with Hollywood legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino on the set of a new gangster movie.
Millions watched Stephen’s character DS John Corbett killed off last week after going rogue on an undercover mission in the gritty BBC1 cop corruption drama.
He is on the wrong side of the law once again as real-life Mafia enforcer Anthony Provenzano in the £100million Martin Scorsese-directed The Irishman which is released by Netflix in the Autumn.
A pal revealed De Niro, 75, personally vetted Stephen, 45, for the part, telling the scouser he was impressed by his portrayal of cigar chomping mobster Al-Capone in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.
Our source said: “Stephen received a phone call on the set of a UK show that he was filming from Martin Scorcese, asking him to fly to New York on the Friday night and to meet him in Manhattan on the Saturday morning.
“He met up with Scorcese at his place and after a short wait, in walked Robert De Niro who is a big hero of Stephen’s since before he took up acting.
“They chatted away for two hours and discussed The Irishman.
“De Niro wanted to know all about Stephen’s life, from childhood onwards, plus his acting career.
“De Niro said he was impressed by Stephen’s portray of Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire.
“At the end of the meeting, De Niro and Scorcese asked Stephen to give them a few minutes alone.
“They both came back into the room and De Niro said to Stephen………..’’Well do you wanna do this?”
“Robert De Niro gave Stephen a huge hug and someone came to pick Stephen up to take him straight back to the airport for a flight back to home.
“It was Robert De Niro’s decision as to whether Stephen got the part in the film or not.
“He was in Manhattan for only a few hours, then back on a plane home.”
Stephen plays John Corbett in BBC hit Line of Duty[/caption]
Stephen got his first taste of acting as a schoolboy in 1984 at Overdale Junior School in Kirkby, Liverpool when he played a swashbuckling pirate in the school play Treasure Island aged 10.
A photo shows him wielding a giant dagger in what would be a precursor to his role in Pirates of the Caribbean in which he starred alongside Johnny Depp.
But the dad-of-two opened his heart recently about his struggles to make a career from acting.
He revealed he turned to robbing cars after being chucked out of theatre school as a lad, saying: “There were no jobs and lots of people turned to crime or heroin.
Work had dried up for the 45-year-old following This is England, but Stephen is now firmly back in the big time[/caption]
“We were into car robbing. We’d nick Porsches to bring back to the estate.”
Later he found fame on the TV skinhead drama This is England(2006) but work soon dried up after and he thought about quitting to become a youth worker.
With Line of Duty and The Irishman he is now firmly back in the big time.
The new blockbuster centres around the mysterious 1975 disappearance of Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa who had links to gangsters.
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Stephen’s character Anthony Provenzano, who died in 1988, was a suspect in Hoffa’s murder though a body was never found. Also appearing alongside Stephen is Joe Pesci.
Our source said: “Stephen has worked with Brad Pitt, Leonardo De Caprio and Johnny Depp, but working alongside with De Niro, Pacino and Pesci all at the same time was the ultimate dream come through, especially for a lad with such humble beginnings.
“He is still pinching himself a year after filming ended.”
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