“I like working with Leo,” Scorsese says. “We have similar sensibilities. I’m 30 years older than him, but we see the world the same way. On the set we can just look at each other after a take and know whether it was right or not.”

The twisted tale of a US marshal investigating the disappearance of a mental patient from a highsecurity facility goes to some very unsettling and dark places. Scorsese reveals that the film took a toll on both him and DiCaprio. “I got through it and I’ll probably make another movie,” he says with a wry grin. “But I’ve felt that way about every picture in the past 20 years. Each time the experience has been traumatic. Casino was very tough, and so was Gangs of New York. The Departed was miserable. And doing Shutter Island put me on a very trying emotional and psychological journey, not to mention the physical hell that we went through.”

That physical hell put city boy Scorsese in a forest recreating a hurricane as DiCaprio flees for his life. “I was surrounded by trees, wind and rain,” he says. “That wasn’t fun for an urban person.”

But the director admits that it was tougher on DiCaprio: “Leo really gets into a character, unraveling all of these layers, and in this particular case, the story just lent itself to that,” he says. “Ultimately, when Shutter Island was finished, he was very surprised at how much he had to give emotionally and how far he had to travel psychologically.”

Scorsese shrugs when reminded that the explicit violence in many of his own films has shocked audiences. “I can’t defend it,” he says. “I approach it the way I remember experiencing it in movies growing up. I was very affected by it—even more than the physical violence, the emotional violence around me in my neighborhood. It’s part of what I am, who I am, and somehow it channels itself into my films. I see it sometimes almost as absurd.”

Then he adds, “If you’re doing what you were born to do, then you’re doing what God has told you to do. It’s what you’ve been made for. No matter how much I might complain, I have to realize making movies is what I was made for. I have no choice but to do the best job I can.”

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