The Revenant director defends Leonardo DiCaprio film after crew brands it a 'living hell'

Alejandro G Inarritu is shooting in 'tough' conditions in snowy Argentina

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

It might be the movie that finally wins Leonardo DiCaprio an Oscar, but filming The Revenant has been described as a "living hell" by some crew members.

From trekking to Argentina in search of snow to broken dry suits and a naked actor being dragged along the ground, shooting the drama about fur trapper Hugh Glass is a world away from Hollywood glamour, but director Alejandro G Inarritu is confident that cinema-goers will love it.

The Oscar-winning Mexican has been making the film in sequence, using only natural light, and has come under heavy fire after speculation began swirling that members of his team were quitting over on-set issues and producer Jim Skotchdopole had been banned.

"I have nothing to hide," he told The Hollywood Reporter in a bid to set the record straight. "There were problems but none of them made me ashamed. As a director if I identify a violin that is out of tune, I have to take that from the orchestra."

Complaints have also arisen over Inarritu's alleged indecision, something the director insists is "part of the process [...] you have to be sculpting, sculpting, sculpting until you have it".

It's not only crew who have been affected by weather problems and poor planning. Supporting actor Tom Hardy was forced to drop out of Suicide Squad after a scheduled two-week break on The Revenant became six weeks in December.

Then of course there's the poor aforementioned bloke whom Inarritu decided should be pulled along the ground in his birthday suit, with only plastic sheeting to protect him.

"I asked him several times, 'Are you fine?'" he said, dismissing reports that the actor was in pain as a "lie". "I was super considerate because he was a nice, 22-year-old guy."

As of yet there have been no major injuries on set, despite one actor being immersed in freezing water only for his dry suit to break.

"He was taken care of 10 minutes after he was done," according to Inarritu, who held safety meetings at least once every day to ensure all cast and crew were looked after.

The 51-year-old was adamant that computer-generated effects were not going to take away from the authenticity of his film-making, particularly with survival as the movie's main theme.

"That's exactly what I didn't want," he said. "If we ended up in greenscreen with coffee and everybody having a good time, everybody will be happy, but most likely the film would be a piece of s**t.

"When you see the film, you will see the scale of it and you will say 'Wow'."