Martin Scorsese Admits He and De Niro ‘Roll Our Eyes’ at Dicaprio
Martin Scorsese recently sat down for an interview with The Wall Street Journal to promote his upcoming Apple-produced historical epic Killers of the Flower Moon (in theaters October 20). The film chronicles a series of actual murders committed against the Osage tribe after oil was discovered on their land circa 1920. It stars Scorsese’s two most frequent collaborators, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, in their sixth and tenth collaboration with the legendary filmmaker, respectively.
Cinema’s biggest champion spoke during the interview about navigating the famously disparate acting styles of his two muses. De Niro believes less is more, giving only as much as he needs and rarely discussing his method. DiCaprio, meanwhile, throws himself into every role, improvising with abandon and eager to discuss motivation.
Scorsese called these digressions with DiCaprio “endless, endless, endless!” Recalling his scenes with De Niro, the Taxi Driver director admitted that the younger actor’s superfluous improvisations sometimes caused De Niro to lock up. “Then Bob didn’t want to talk,” he reflected.
“Every now and then, Bob and I would look at each other and roll our eyes a little bit,” the director said. “And we’d tell [DiCaprio], ‘You don’t need that dialogue.’”
De Niro and DiCaprio previously collaborated for Scorsese’s 2015 comedic short The Audition. Killers of the Flower Moon, however, is the first feature-length Scorsese picture the two have appeared in together. They previously shared the screen in This Boy’s Life (1993) and Marvin’s Room (1996).
Killers of the Flower Moon, adapted from David Grann’s novel Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders, cost $200 million to produce. It’s the most expensive film Apple Studios has bankrolled yet and will play exclusively in theaters before hitting Apple TV+ in several months, an unprecedented move for the streamer. With a runtime of three-and-a-half hours, it remains to be seen if the gamble will pay off.