By Jessica Kiang | The Playlist December 9, 2013 at 1:08PM
The bad language in "Raging Bull" has nothing on "Wolf of Wall Street"
"Raging Bull," when that opened, it got some good reviews, but there was a wonderful article in the esteemed great American newspaper the New York Times and it was quite funny because the language in "Raging Bull" is quite terrible. The language, the attitude, the cursing. The article was, “What Happened To Language?” and they quoted some of the worst lines. So we destroyed the language. The main pull quote was from the scene where De Niro threatens to kill his neighbor's dog. The language is very tough in that film, but not as bad as "Wolf Of Wall Street," my new film. Much worse, muuuch worse. I mean, they’re making money.
Working with DiCaprio has inspired Scorsese to keep going
With Leonardo DiCaprio it’s different, I’m 30 years older than him. De Niro introduced me to Leo, by saying to me, “I’m working with this young boy and you should work with him one day,” and I found that Leo liked the movies we made in the past and he has the same sensibilities, similar interests. He has great courage and a fearlessness in the work. He’s not afraid to go to certain emotional places [or tackle] psychological issues.
And it’s a tricky thing with Leo because he became a major box office star with "Titanic." When I did "Gangs of New York" and "The Aviator," people kept asking me, “is he an actor?” I said yes. I saw "What’s Eating Gilbert’s Grape," the film he did with De Niro, "This Boy’s Life" before "Titanic." So there’s a stigma there which people still refer to. But we found that he regenerated my enthusiasm for making films. Mainly because as you get older it gets physically difficult and also the business especially — the financial issues. You’re responsible for a lot of money, if you get it. It’s all pressure, but can you do it? His enthusiasm and excitement really kept me going, for another five pictures now.
Scorsese seems to feel he may not have a huge number of films left to make and feels his time for experimentation is passed.
Desire? Yes, I have the desire to make many films, but as of now I’m 71 and there’s only a couple more left if I get to make them. I miss the time when I had the desire to experiment and try different kinds of films, I miss that time, but that’s done, it’s over. There is obligation as you get older, you have family. I’ve been very lucky in the last 10 years or so, to have found projects that combine the desire, the subject matter—from "The Aviator" to now—with, as best I can, fulfilling the obligation to my family and the financiers.
Sometimes, though the obligation has outweighed the desire, and Scorsese has felt "trapped" by the making of a film.
It’s a complex question, so to clarify more, there's a number of projects I’ve made over the years, that I’ve been persuaded by the actor, two of them for Robert De Niro, Paul Newman, and DiCaprio. So I have to find if I can take my time and put my energy and passion into what they like or are drawn to, and luckily in many cases it has worked out. And for me ultimately, I have to have the final say, the final cut.
Now there is one other thing, over the past few years now I’ve been trapped in a couple of films. Where because I agreed at first, I found that the circumstances—whether they were financial, executive situations at studios or physical difficulties—I tried to get out, but I couldn’t, and I had to make the movie. And then it was a matter of making something really special. I really have to find a way to stay really in there and stay interested and find something special. That happened a couple of times in the last 10 years.
Care to speculate on which projects he was referring to there? In any case, "The Wolf of Wall Street" arrives on Christmas Day, and you can be sure we'll be talking a lot more about the film world's very own Santa Claus, Martin Scorsese, in the days and weeks to come. --with Rodrigo Perez