Martin Scorsese has had two main muses during his long career – Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. And now for the first time, the trio has worked together – on new thriller movie Killers of the Flower Moon. But considering Scorsese’s clear love for both actors, he says that they work very differently from one another.
In Killers of the Flower Moon, Robert De Niro plays a powerful white man who persuades his nephew – played by DiCaprio – to infiltrate and manipulate the Osage tribe in Oklahoma that has been made extraordinarily wealthy by oil. It’s surprisingly only the third time the two actors have worked together, and the first time in 27 years.
But in a new interview ahead of the Killers of the Flower Moon release, Scorsese says that the two actors have very different approaches on set. He describes DiCaprio’s set discussions and dialogue improvisations as being “endless, endless, endless” during production. “Then Bob didn’t want to talk,” he told the Wall Street Journal. De Niro clearly has a “less is more” approach.
Scorsese also said that; “Every now and then, Bob and I would look at each other and roll our eyes a little bit. And we’d tell [Leo], ‘You don’t need that dialogue.'” The last time Leonardo DiCaprio worked with De Niro was in 1996’s Marvin Room’s, but they first collaborated in This Boy’s Life in 1993 – when DiCaprio was just 18 years old. It was De Niro who recommended the young actor to his friend Martin Scorsese.
Both De Niro and DiCaprio have been associated with what the public perceives as ‘method acting’ over the years, but clearly how they work when they’re on set is very different, as can be seen from Scorsese poking fun at the younger of the two. De Niro famously gained weight for Raging Bull and got an actual New York cab license to prepare for Taxi Driver. He also had his teeth sharpened to be more intimidating in Cape Fear.
Leo DiCaprio’s greatest commitment to a role was for The Revenant, where he allegedly really slept in an animal carcass and swam in frozen rivers – finally earning him the Lead Actor Oscar he’d been yearning for. Unsurprisingly, his new movie with De Niro has had rave reactions from the festival circuit, including our own Killers of the Flower Moon review, and will inevitably lead to more nominations.
Check out our guide to the best movies based on a true story and the best movies based on books. We’re also very much looking forward to Yellowstone season 5 part 2, whenever that finally comes around.