Behind the scenes drama: DiCaprio vs. De Niro in Scorsese’s new film!
Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro found themselves starring alongside each other in Martin Scorsese’s most recent film, “Killers of the Flower Moon”, but their collaboration was far from smooth.
What caused the tension? DiCaprio’s method of acting reportedly irritated his co-star. Scorsese recounted the incident in an interview with The Wall Street Journal: “He just wouldn’t stop talking. Every now and then, Bob and I would exchange looks and roll our eyes. We had to tell him, ‘Look, we don’t need all these dialogues'”.
DiCaprio’s pursuit of perfection
During the interview, Martin Scorsese discussed DiCaprio’s perfectionist tendencies, revealing that he often requested scene adjustments and line changes on set. This highlighted the differences in the two actors’ approaches to improvisation, with De Niro being someone who preferred minimal dialogue: “When I work with Leonardo DiCaprio, we have a lot of conversations. His method involves constant discussion and exploration of the character. De Niro is different. Yes, he talks, but there are also many moments of silence. The two complement each other beautifully”. The director also shared, “After two years of working on the script, Leo came to me and asked where the heart of the story was. I had spent evenings with the Osage and thought, ‘Well, the story is there'”.
Initially, Leonardo DiCaprio was slated to play the role of Tom White, the heroic FBI investigator in the story. However, the actor managed to convince the director to cast him as the villain, Ernest Burkhart, a merciless World War I veteran who entices a young Native Osage.
The film is set in 1920s America during the oil boom, and it draws inspiration from a true crime story—the serial murders of several affluent Osage Native Americans who had recently become wealthy due to the discovery of oil reserves in Oklahoma. Based on David Grann’s gripping non-fiction book, the film offers a dual perspective on both white and Native American characters, following Detective Tom White’s investigation and Ernest, the naive scion of a wealthy family who becomes entangled in the case.
DiCaprio Vs. De Niro. Tensions on set
Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro have known each other since 1993 when they worked together on “This Boy’s Life”. It was actually De Niro who recommended the young actor to Scorsese, as the director recently shared: “Years later, he told me that he had acted with a young guy, a certain Leonardo DiCaprio, in a film titled ‘This Boy’s Life,’ and suggested that I work with him someday. He said it almost casually, but it wasn’t at all casual. It wasn’t like Bob, who never gives this kind of advice”. Despite their long-standing friendship and years of collaboration, their relationship seemed strained during this particular project, to the point where the director had to step in to mend things or at least keep the filming process moving forward.