Leonardo DiCaprio Says Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro Are ‘Like Cinematic Father Figures to Me’

Leonardo DiCaprio Says Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro Are ‘Like Cinematic Father Figures to Me’

DiCaprio, who has made six movies with Scorsese, also costarred with De Niro in his first major film role, 1993’s ‘This Boy’s Life’

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro

Leonardo DiCaprio is showing respect for his Killers of the Flower Moon collaborators.

At a press conference for Martin Scorsese’s latest movie on Wednesday, DiCaprio, 49, spoke to his decades-long history of working with both Scorsese, 80, and Robert De Niro dating back to the earliest days of his acting career.

“Well, in a lot of ways these two men that we’re speaking to have been like cinematic father figures to me,” DiCaprio said, noting that he first costarred with De Niro, 80, in 1993’s This Boy’s Life. “I got to do my first major starring role with Bob, and he and I worked together. He told Marty about me, and I’ve gotten to do six films with him now. And here we are 30 years later.”

DiCaprio and De Niro share the screen across Killers of the Flower Moon‘s 206-minute runtime as real-life Oklahoma citizens Ernest Burkhart and William K. Hale, respectively. The film follows Burkhart as he travels to Osage County in 1920s Oklahoma and begins working for his uncle Hale. Ernest eventually participates in Hale’s plot to murder members of the Osage Nation — including Ernest’s wife Mollie Burkhart’s (Lily Gladstone) family — in an effort to inherit the tribe’s oil rights.

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Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in “Killers of the Flower Moon"

Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

“It’s been this amazing experience to be able to work with both of them together and watch their shorthand too,” DiCaprio shared of working on a film set with the longtime cinema legends. “The way that they sort of telepathically communicate things to one another on set by gestures and nods. And a whole scene can shift on a dime.”

DiCaprio recalled moments from Killers of the Flower Moon‘s production in which he, Scorsese and De Niro worked out how to depict the complicated relationship between the two actors’ characters on screen.

“I just remember fondly those rehearsals that we had together because it was an amazing creative process to get to that moment,” he said. “And it could only happen with these two cinematic heroes of mine — they kept hammering home what is the truth of their dynamic over and over again. And we got to that moment.”

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Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese

De Niro said during the conference that he has always found it “easy and gratifying” to work with Scorsese, with whom he has made 10 movies, dating back to 1973’s Mean Streets.

“We found projects, we do ’em. It’s always been great,” he said. “So I’ve been very lucky to have been able to do 10 movies with Marty, and hopefully we’ll be able to do a couple more.”

Killers of the Flower Moon is in theaters now.