Paul Schrader says Martin Scorsese’s dog bit off and ate part of his thumb

Schrader and Scorsese are longtime collaborators, having worked together on classic films like ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Raging Bull’

Kevin E G Perry
Thursday 09 May 2024 22:02 BST
Paul Schrader thinks Leonardo DiCaprio should've played the detective in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

Paul Schrader has said that Martin Scorsese’s Scottie dog bit off part of his thumb and then ate it.

The screenwriter and director, 77, is a longtime friend and collaborator of Scorsese’s. Schrader wrote the script for 1976’s Taxi Driver and they continued to work together on films like Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Bringing Out the Dead (1999).

In a new profile for Variety, journalist Stephen Rodrick writes that in December Schrader turned up for an interview “with a massive, bloody bandage wrapped around his hand”.

When Rodrick asked what had happened to his thumb, Schrader replied: “So on Tuesday night, I had dinner with Marty at his place.

“He has these dogs. They were very cute. Two of them were bichon frisé. They’re really beautiful. But then, he has a Scottie, which is a problematic dog. It was his daughter’s dog. He doesn’t like the dog, but they have to keep him and blah, blah, blah.”

Schrader went on to explain that he “tried to pet the Scottie”, adding: “The Scottie not only took out part of my thumb, he ate it.”

Paul Schrader (left) and Martin Scorsese
Paul Schrader (left) and Martin Scorsese (Getty)

Rodrick enquired as to whether Schrader had to be hospitalised because of the injury, to which the filmmaker replied: “Marty has an in-house nurse.”

Schrader’s latest film is the upcoming drama Oh, Canada, based on the 2021 novel Foregone by Russell Banks. It stars Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Michael Imperioli and Jacob Elordi and is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on 17 May.

The film marks a reunion between Schrader and Gere, who previously worked together on 1980’s American Gigolo.

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In recent years, Schrader has become known for his outspoken Facebook posts, which he has used to criticise films like Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn. He wrote that the class satire: “flips The Talented Mr Ripley formula in which the lower class arriviste undermines the establishment with his charm and beauty.” He added: “In Saltburn the lower class boy is plain and the object he pursues is beauty personified. It’s an inversion which should not work. And it doesn’t.”

Last year, Schrader told The Independent that he stands by his “withering” criticism. “It is a bad film,” he said. “Instead of ‘withering’, you could say a slightly accurate review.”

He also revealed that he remains keen to work on a future project with Kevin Spacey, who last July was found not guilty of sexually assaulting four men following a trial in London. The American Beauty star had long denied multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

“People responded as if I had said I would kick a homeless man,” Schrader said. “I mean, Kevin Spacey is a great actor. He won two Oscars. He was found not guilty. Why would I not work with him?”

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