Leo DiCaprio reveals Shutter Island has been his most challenging role

Posted on 15 February 2010
By Pierce King
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Oscar-nominated actor Leonardo DiCaprio has revealed that working with Martin Scorsese on Shutter Island had been his most emotionally challenging screen experience yet.

DiCaprio plays Teddy Daniels, a steely second world war veteran who arrives at a fortress-like island housing a hospital for the criminally insane in the gothic-tinged tale, which is based on the Dennis Lehane novel and co-stars Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo and Max Von Sydow.

The Departed star was more than capable of ‘switching off’ away from the shoot, but admitted there was often something of a ‘sombre mood going home every day’ from filming scenes on the wind-blasted Peddocks Island, off the coast of Boston.

Leo said: “This is the most challenging one to date for me. Physically – yes, but emotionally more so.

“It was the nature of the material. It was obviously a complex jigsaw puzzle and it was surprising for both of us at times, and it really shocked us.

“It’s a very difficult narrative to talk about in detail because we want the audience to have that virgin experience.”

Scorsese added: “The nature of gothic literature opened the door for the project to come into existence.

“I don’t know how else to use to tell the story except to utilise that vocabulary – the rain, the darkness, the mansions, the framing, the lighting, and that sort of thing.

“There’s always the element of Shock Corridor hanging around the picture.

“But never specifically – it’s more a case of it being conjured as a mantra.”

Leo DiCaprio also described working with Von Sydow as ‘incredible.’

He said: “It was chilling to work with him. He is part of cinema’s history and should be revered and respected as that. He is a genius.”