Chad Verdi never painted houses. But as executive producer of the Oscar-nominated film, The Irishman, Mr. Verdi helped make it a household phrase.

The etymology of the phrase, a discreet solicitation to carry out a mafia hit, is traced to the red color splatter on the walls of a house after a closed-door killing had been carried out. It is also the title of the book by Charles Brandt that inspired The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino.

On a quiet Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Verdi sat in his Edgartown office framed by a wall of posters that chronicles his ascent in the film industry. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt and sweatpants, having just returned from an eight-mile walk. He was restless, he said. But on Sunday, when he attends the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, he will trade in his sweatshirt for a tuxedo.

Mr. Verdi said he started his film career producing low-budget horror movies, then climbed his way up to action-packed thrillers that champion scrappy criminals and flawed prize-fighters, before landing on what he calls his opus of crooked, complex but golden hearted characters.

And although he may never have painted houses, he did grow up around people who did.

Mr. Verdi was raised in East Greenwich, R.I., a small town of two-story clapboard homes and front lawns not far from Providence, R.I. His father owned a meat-packing company and as a young man Mr. Verdi was involved in the day-to-day operations of the family business. Specifically, he oversaw the loading of trucks, a business not unlike those depicted in the Irishman, known for it’s connections to organized crime and the mafia-infiltrated Teamsters Union led by Jimmy Hoffa.

But from the start, Mr. Verdi said he was determined to forge a different path.

“I knew all the guys,” Mr. Verdi said. “The guys that hanged the meat, stole it, hijacked the trucks . . . Everybody knew everybody back then. But at the end of the day, you knew not to cross a certain line. And that business was the line. You can go right up to that line. You can know the people, have a drink with them. But the day you cross that line, it becomes a problem.”

Such was the story of many business owners in East Greenwich, he said. A picture of Mr. Verdi arm in arm with Buddy Cianci, the notoriously corrupt mayor of Providence, hangs on the wall of his Providence office. But he never crossed the line, he said, nor did he employ those who did.

“You make that choice in life,” he said. “I could have gotten involved with those guys, bought entire tractor trailers of hijacked meat. But no. Once you do that, you’re in.”

And so instead of painting houses, Mr. Verdi bought houses. Many of them.

While working for his father he started numerous side businesses, creating a small empire of toy manufacturers, restaurants, an advertising franchise, a poultry company, a coffee company, and in the process acquired a lot of real estate.

Mr. Verdi said that by the time he was 25 years old he was a millionaire.

When he set his sights on producing movies he was just as industrious as in his other businesses. Verdi Productions, the relatively small film production company with a loud bark, has been involved in 22 films since its launch just over a decade ago. With offices in Providence and Edgartown his films are usually set close to home, in Rhode Island and New York, and feature the type of characters he grew up with. He is quick to point out, however, that movies about the mob are not like real life.

“It wasn’t the glamorous thing we’ve always made it out to be,” he said. “The mob isn’t Hollywood.”

The Irishman is the third film Mr. Verdi has worked on with Mr. Scorsese, the previous two being a documentary called The 50 Year Argument and the feature film Silence, about two 17th-century Jesuit priests, starring Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson.

Mr. Verdi traveled with Mr. Scorsese for a screening of Silence at the Vatican. The pope enjoyed the movie, Mr. Verdi said, and then blessed Mr. Scorsese’s wife.

And now on Sunday the two men will travel again to see if their latest film can capture Oscar gold. Win or lose on the red carpet, though, Mr. Verdi will remain anchored in real life.

“Most of the companies I bought I owned the real estate,” he said. “I call it dirt. Even today, I’m in the film business now but my biggest asset is dirt . . . That dirt is what supports my film business today.”