DiCaprio paralyzed by Scorsese

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese

Leonardo DiCaprio was “paralyzed” when he first met Martin Scorsese.

The 39-year-old actor met the Oscar winning director for the first time two decades ago when he was just starting out in his career.

They were introduced at a party in New York and the evening remains clear in Leonardo’s mind.

“I was 18 or so. I had just done What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and there was an after party at some bar downtown, you [to Scorsese] were there. I quickly bumped into you, and I was sort of paralyzed.

“I just sort of stood there, and [you said]: ‘Hey, kid, I saw your movie. You did a great job. Keep it up.’ And I just didn’t say anything,” he laughed to The Hollywood Reporter in an interview alongside Martin Scorsese.

Leonardo has gone on to collaborate with Martin five times during his career on big films including four times Oscar winning The Departed and Gangs of New York. Their latest offering is The Wolf of Wall Street.

When a younger Leonardo first met the legendary director he’d only made a small amount of films, and was just starting out in Hollywood.

“I was shocked. I had done two movies at that time, This Boy’s Life and Gilbert Grape. I was shocked that he had actually seen the film and said something. I was just blown away,” he recalled.

The actor also opened up about the hurdles The Wolf of Wall Street had to overcome, and some of his own struggles with the part.

One element of the film in particular was hard for the Great Gatsby star.

“The speeches [were the hardest to pull off]. I had never had a monologue like that in my life — I mean, [one] went on for four pages. It was amazing,” Leonardo explained.

“And there was such a lead-up to it, it was almost like an adrenaline dump. And I immediately got sick. I was supposed to get up there in front of 600 extras and give this giant Braveheart-like speech on greed, and my throat just seized up. I got strep throat.”

The Wolf of Wall Street is released on Christmas Day.

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