Shutter Island, a storm-tossed gothic noir set in a prison for the criminally insane, marks the fourth collaboration between Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese. That’s well shy of the nine films Scorsese made with Robert De Niro through the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, but clearly DiCaprio and Scorsese have something going on – something that DiCaprio can, in fact, thank De Niro for.
“I met Marty at a party back when I was in my early 20s,” remembers DiCaprio, who’s 35 now and, well, yes, one of the biggest movie stars in the world. “And he actually knew who I was, that was the surprise to me. I couldn’t believe it!”
Scorsese had heard of DiCaprio – who started off on TV, doing commercials (Matchbox cars was his first) and the family sitcom Growing Pains – because the director had been talking to De Niro about his experience on This Boy’s Life. In the 1992 film, based on the Tobias Wolff memoir, De Niro played an abusive stepfather to DiCaprio’s moody teen rebel. The Taxi Driver and Raging Bull star had glowing words to offer Scorsese about this kid. And Scorsese remembered.