Scorsese’s 26th film is based on the true story of the murder of more than 60 Native Americans in 1920s Oklahoma and stars De Niro and DiCaprio as an uncle and nephew plotting to steal the oil underneath the tribe’s land.
DiCaprio is renowed for improvising his lines in films, but while filming the period piece, the actor apparently tested the patience of his co-star and director.
His improvisations were “endless, endless, endless”, Scorsese told The Telegraph, while “Bob [De Niro] didn’t want to talk.”
The 80-year-old director, who has made multiple films with both actors, said: “Every now and then, Bob and I would look at each other and roll our eyes a little bit. And we’d tell [DiCaprio]: ‘You don’t need that dialogue.’”
This comes after Scorsese recently revealed that DiCaprio asked for a major overhaul of the film’s script two years into the writing process.
While the film ended up being told from the perspective of the Osage tribe, that wasn’t the original plan. According to director, the film’s original script was told “from the point of view of the bureau agents coming in to investigate”, which prompted DiCaprio’s issue with the script.
Scorsese told The Irish Times: “Leo came to me and asked, ‘Where is the heart of this story?’ I had had meetings and dinners with the Osage, and I thought, Well, there’s the story. The real story, we felt, was not necessarily coming from the outside, with the bureau, but rather from the inside, from Oklahoma.”
In a five-star review of the film, NME wrote: “This is among Scorsese’s most important work. Popular music from the 1920s, Native American songs and Robbie Robertson’s bluesy score help round off this remarkable Western, a film that will linger in the minds of its audience for a long time.”
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