Martin Scorsese Made Leonardo DiCaprio Mimic Iconic Actor Cary Grant For 5 Time Oscar Winning Film

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio discussed how a Cary Grant movie inspired the dinner scene in The Aviator.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are arguably one of the most successful actor-director duos in Hollywood, having collaborated on six feature films to date. Their most recent collaboration Killers of the Flower Moon also received positive reviews from critics and is one of the favorites at the upcoming Academy Award.Leonardo DiCaprio has collaborated with Martin Scorsese on 6 films

Leonardo DiCaprio has collaborated with Martin Scorsese on 6 films

DiCaprio and Scorsese recently sat down for an interaction where they discussed their creative process. During the conversation, DiCaprio revealed how Scorsese often screens movies for his cast and crew to share a reference for his vision. At the same time, DiCaprio shared how Scorsese made him mimic the iconic actor Cary Grant for an important scene in one of the movies they collaborated on. Here is what DiCaprio stated about the incident.

Leonardo DiCaprio Mimiced Cary Grant For Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese recently reunited for an in-depth discussion for Letterboxd, where the actor-director duo spoke at length about the movies Scorsese screened for his cast and crew. DiCaprio stated that Scorsese often holds screenings of films to share references for overall tonality or specific scenes when he is working on a project.

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese. Credit: Apple Music Podcast

DiCaprio cited the example of the duo’s work in the 2004 biographical drama film The Aviator, based on the life of Howard Hughes. The film features a dinner scene where characters have overlapping dialogs. To explain how he wanted to film the scene, Scorsese held a screening of the 1940 screwball comedy film His Girl Friday, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.

“One of the greatest things about the picture is the speed of the language. Some of that was in the original too in The Front Page and on stage and in the film version of The Front Page, but not as, I think, rhythmic and as musical as Cary Grant and Ros Russell playing with each other in His Girl Friday.”

Scorsese made the above statement, explaining how the rhythm of dialog exchange between Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell inspired the dinner scene in The Aviator. DiCaprio added that watching the film was helpful as the cast and crew did not understand what Scorsese wanted to achieve in the scene. DiCaprio said:

“It was hard for us as actors to understand the concept of what you were saying for that dinner scene because there was so much overlapping dialogue.”

Scorsese added that directors Howard Hawks and Orson Wells were masters of using overlapping dialog in their films. Given the period of The Aviator, he wanted to film a similar scene, resulting in DiCaprio taking reference from Cary Grant’s performance His Girl Friday.

Martin Scorsese Screened Other Iconic Films For Leonardo DiCaprio

Martin Scorsese directing Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of the 2004 movie The Aviator
Martin Scorsese directing Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of the 2004 movie The Aviator

During the interaction, Martin Scorsese also revealed other films he screened for Leonardo DiCaprio and other cast members while working on his films. Scorsese stated that young filmmakers and actors should look at John Carpenter’s 1982 science fiction horror film The Thing, which he also screened for DiCaprio.

DiCaprio revealed Scorsese screened Howard Hughes’s Hell’s Angels as a reference for the different color processes he wanted to use for color grading The Aviator. Other films Scorsese screened for DiCaprio include the 1958 Polish drama film Ashes and Diamonds, which served as inspiration for The Departed. The 1947 noir films Out of the Past and Crossfire were screened for DiCaprio in preparation for Shutter Island.


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