DiCaprio Called This Film Most Traumatic of His Career (And No, It's Not Revenant)

DiCaprio Called This Film Most Traumatic of His Career (And No, It's Not Revenant)
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When you think about which movie in Leonardo DiCaprio's career might have been the most traumatic for him, The Revenant (2015) probably comes to mind.

Its filming was notoriously difficult in general, and DiCaprio employed no stunt doubles during scenes which involved his character going into freezing rivers or sheltering in a horse carcass.

But those were just physical trials.

The film which DiCaprio himself names as the most traumatic in his career was a film which provided difficulties of an entirely different sort: the psychological thriller Shutter Island (2010), directed by Martin Scorsese.

In that film DiCaprio plays U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, who travels to the hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island, nominally to investigate a patient's disappearance, but in truth pursuing a more personal goal. From that premise a complex drama, which puts Teddy's sanity and very identity into question, unfolds.

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The film enjoyed decent commercial and critical success, and DiCaprio was especially praised for his difficult role, which required portraying a man struggling with more trauma than the viewers could initially imagine.

But providing performance worthy of the film's dark story, and its study of people's extreme reactions to grief and loss, was not easy for DiCaprio.

"I have to say Shutter Island was one of the most intense, hardcore filming experiences I've ever had, as we explored what the mentally ill had to face in the days when mental hospitals were called insane asylums," he explained in an interview with Parade. "It was really very traumatic, and I don't say that about a film very often."

DiCaprio further explained that the themes of the film impacted him on the personal level:

"I went to places and unearthed some things that I didn't think I was capable of. It was like an emotional layer cake that just kept getting deeper and deeper."

And you know that an experience is traumatic, when it is compared to actual no-joke nightmares:

"But when I used a nicotine patch when I was trying to quit smoking, I did have bloodcurdling nightmares of mass murders, and I woke up in the middle of the night and had to take the patches off. I guess I had moments like that in the film."