The intense film scene Leonardo DiCaprio called ‘one of the most memorable moments’ of his career

‘I had no idea what was going to happen,’ actor recalled

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 15 October 2021 09:35 BST
The Departed - trailer

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Leonardo DiCaprio has been at the centre of several classic scenes throughout his career.

However, there’s a particular one the actor highlighted as “one of the most memorable moments” of his life.

The scene in question features in The Departed, which was released 15 years ago this week.

The crime drama marked the actor’s third time working with Martin Scorsese and, in it, he plays Billy Costigan, an undercover cop tasked with infiltrating an Irish gang in south Boston.

Scorsese cast Jack Nicholson as gang leader Frank Costello, something which led to the scene that DiCaprio holds close to his heart.

The one-on-one sequence sees Nicholson’s character tell Costigan he suspects his gang to have a rat in its midst.

“There were a number of different scenes where I had no idea what was going to happen” he said during a press conference ahead of the film’s release. “One scene in particular... I remember Jack speaking to Marty because he said he didn’t feel that he was intimidating enough.”

He continued: “It was one of the table scenes. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life as far as being an actor is concerned.

Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg and Leonardo DiCaprio at the ‘Departed’ premiere in 2006
Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg and Leonardo DiCaprio at the ‘Departed’ premiere in 2006 (Getty Images)

“Jack [Nicholson] had a short run, he filmed his scenes and then he left, but those were some of the most intense moments of the film for me certainly.”

DiCaprio said that “as a human being, as a person, there were some memories that I will never forget”.

Scorsese won his only Best Director Oscar to date for The Departed, a film that DiCaprio failed to secure a nomination for as he allegedly refused to campaign against his co-stars.

That same year, he was nominated in the leading actor category for Blood Diamond, which he ultimately lost to Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland.

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