Leonardo DiCaprio developed an impactful first impression on Robert De Niro when they first crossed paths more than three decades ago.
At that time, the 80-year-old actor was already a two-time Oscar winner when he proceeded to work with DiCaprio on the 1993 movie This Boy’s Life.
The 49-year-old star was best known for his role on the ABC sitcom Growing Pains back then, and came in to read for a side role in the movie, but eventually ended up landing the role of the lead.
In an exclusive interview for PEOPLE magazine’s latest issue, De Niro told the outlet, “I said to Art Linson, the producer, I said, ‘Art, that kid was really, it was interesting.’ I didn't push it. I just said, ‘That kid had something special,’ and then they turned around and wound up using Leo.”
In the film, This Boy’s Life, DiCaprio plays the main character, 15-year-old Tobias, whose single mother, Caroline shifts to Washington state with him where she gets involved with Dwight Hansen, played by De Niro, a man who offers stability to the family.
After Caroline marries Hansen, it is revealed he’s a vile, mean and verbally abusive man, who inflicts all his anger on the young Tobias, humiliating him and demeaning him every chance he got.
The duo’s latest film, Killers of the Flower Moon, revolves around the true and heartbreaking story of the Osage Reign of Terror.
Set in the 1920s Oklahoma, a seemingly-benevolent white man named, William Hale, portrayed by De Niro, orchestrates the murders of many Indigenous people with the motive of stealing their lands, which were found to be rich with oil deposits.
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