"I do remember doing them quite a few times and thinking, 'Oh, that must hurt,' " 'Killers of the Flower Moon' cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto said
Leonardo DiCaprio made sure to have protection for one gnarly sequence in his new movie.
Killers of the Flower Moon cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto recently told Insider that DiCaprio, 48, wore butt padding for a scene in which Robert De Niro's character William K. Hale spanks DiCaprio's Ernest Burkhart.
"I don't think that was in the first script," Prieto said. "That was something that was added, and it's shocking in the film."
The cinematographer added that he read the 2017 David Grann nonfiction book the movie is based on — which makes no mention of paddlings — before working on the movie, so the scene came as a surprise to him.
"I do remember doing them quite a few times and thinking, 'Oh, that must hurt,' " Prieto told the outlet. "There was some padding on his butt. But you could tell De Niro was really hitting him."
The scene in question takes place around the middle of Killers of the Flower Moon's 206-minute runtime. Hale escorts Ernest, his nephew, into a back room, where he chastises Ernest for fumbling one of Hale's plans to murder a number of members of the Osage Nation, a years-long murder plot at the center of the film's story.
Hale then forces Ernest bend over with his elbows against a podium and spanks him with a paddle several times, physically punishing him for his failures.
"Leo is game for so much," Prieto, who previously worked with the actor on 2013's The Wolf of Wall Street, added to Insider. "He'll do anything."
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DiCaprio, an Oscar winner for his similarly grueling performance in 2015's The Revenant, portrays a white man who marries and has children with a wealthy Osage woman named Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone) in Martin Scorsese's latest movie.
The film follows Ernest and Mollie's marriage even as Ernest participates in a number of murders that directly target Mollie's family, depicting a true American crime story that took place in Osage County, Oklahoma in the 1920s. The years-long murder plot eventually brought about an FBI investigation that led to Ernest and Hale's arrests.
Scorsese, 80, has said he originally cast DiCaprio as FBI agent Tom White, whom Jesse Plemons portrays in the film. The filmmaker said those plans changed after a script reading, when DiCaprio approached him and suggested he instead should play Ernest and center the film's tragedies around Ernest and Mollie's relationship.
"In reality, it wasn't a matter of who did it. I wanted to show who didn't do it," Scorsese recently said of his decision to clearly show that Hale and Ernest — among a number of other white settlers in Osage County — committed the crimes, rather than have the film play more like a murder mystery.
Killers of the Flower Moon is in theaters now.
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