Leonardo DiCaprio was so desperate to work with director Martin Scorsese that he tracked down the script for Gangs Of New York and begged the filmmaker to tackle the project with him.
DiCaprio and Scorsese have made five films together since first collaborating on 2002's Gangs of New York, and the actor insists he was always desperate to work with the acclaimed director.
Speaking during a New York Film Society retrospective event focusing on his collaborations with Scorsese, DiCaprio says, "I grew up in a generation of actors that really admired the work from the 1970s, where the director's vision was paramount, and at the top of that list was Marty's work. As soon as I got the opportunity to finance a movie based on my own name, the only person on that list to be able to work with, at least only once, was Martin Scorsese. So I tracked down the only screenplay I knew had a character for me in it, and that was Gangs of New York.
"The truth of the matter is, it's really been this kind of amazing relationship since then. We found we shared similar interests and we had similar tastes in the kind of stuff we wanted to do. And the way we executed that, it's really been beyond my wildest dream to have done five films with him now."
DiCaprio was also instrumental in landing Jonah Hill a role in their latest collaboration, The Wolf Of Wall Street, after the Moneyball star insisted he was the only actor who could tackle the role of corrupt banker Donnie Azoff.
He adds, "I knew Marty would like that, because what he looks for in an actor is a genuine connection with the material and an enthusiasm that he can draw from."