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What Martin Scorsese taught Leonardo DiCaprio about acting

Almost any actor in the world considers it to be an absolute privilege to work under the direction of the great Martin Scorsese. A bonafide New Hollywood revolutionary, Scorsese has maintained his artistic momentum with recent gems like The Irishman. Even though he has become a controversial figure in recent times due to his criticism of the wildly popular Marvel films, nobody can deny the filmmaker’s immense contributions to the evolution of cinema.

One such actor is the global icon Leonardo DiCaprio who has worked with Scorsese on critically acclaimed projects like The Departed and The Wolf of Wall Street. DiCaprio has always maintained that Scorsese has been one of his greatest teachers, claiming that the ageing auteur has the knowledge of a film scholar: “There is almost no aspect of his life, creative or personal, where he doesn’t reference the history of movies.”

Their most famous collaboration has definitely been the 2013 biographical drama The Wolf of Wall Street, where DiCaprio delivered the performance of a lifetime as Wall Street tycoon Jordan Belfort. Everyone was convinced that DiCaprio would win the elusive Best Actor Award at the Oscars for his dizzyingly energetic performance as the charming con artist, but it wasn’t to be.

While reflecting on his experiences with Scorsese, DiCaprio said: “As a young actor standing beside him during the creative process of making a movie, I discovered that just like a painting, a sculpture, music or theatre, film was just as essential, relevant, as a matter of fact, the most integral art form of our time. I felt I could truly own the term artist by working alongside him.”

DiCaprio’s co-star Jonah Hill confirmed the actor’s observations, agreeing that Scorsese was a true cinematic genius: “What it takes a brilliant director, who is not yet at that place possibly… I’m talking [about] someone who is a master chess player, a master director. He can fix that problem; it’s advanced problem solving, in 30 seconds. You literally watch him close his eyes and solve an insanely complex issue… directing is just solving issues constantly.”

DiCaprio and Scorsese are set to collaborate on a brand new project titled Killers of the Flower Moon, which is set during the “Reign of Terror” in Oklahoma in the 1920s.

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