Christopher Nolan and Leonardo DiCaprio‘s collaboration in the 2010 film ‘Inception‘ marked a partnership that scripted history for years to come in the film industry. It further showcased DiCaprio’s trust in Nolan’s storytelling prowess and DiCaprio’s commitment to his craft. His creative standards were also a chief reason that the movie reached unprecedented success.
DiCaprio holds an extremely diverse film portfolio. Though there aren’t many actors who could have fully understood the depth that ‘Inception’ brought to the screen, DiCaprio recognized its complexity from the very start. The potential challenges in delivering a coherent narrative were also very obvious to him when he agreed to do the movie.
Leonardo DiCaprio Thought Pulling Off A Movie Like ‘Inception’ Would Be A Challenge
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Leonardo DiCaprio had described ‘the film ‘Inception‘ as “complex and ambiguous” but said he was confident about Nolan’s ability to navigate intricate narratives. DiCaprio also spoke highly about Nolan’s expertise in conveying multifaceted stories. To support his opinion, he cited examples like ‘Insomnia’ and ‘Memento’.
“It’s going to be a challenge to ultimately pull it (Inception) off. But that is what Chris Nolan specializes in. He has been able to convey really complex narratives that work on a multitude of different layers simultaneously to an audience and make it entertaining and engaging throughout,” he had said at the time.
“You look at Insomnia or Memento, these movies are working on so many different levels. That’s his expertise; it’s what he does best, as a matter of fact,” DiCaprio added. Meanwhile, Nolan had sought to collaborate with DiCaprio for years, and ‘Inception’ gave him the ideal chance to propose the partnership.
Why Christopher Nolan Thinks DiCaprio Is Challenging To Work With
But when the director teamed up with him, Nolan saw that DiCaprio had certain creative standards when it came to how his characters are written. If anything, this worked to improve Inception’s narrative.
“He is extremely demanding, which actually helped me work out in Inception wherein there is emotional importance in the story,” Nolan told NDTV (via Female First) in an interview.
In another 2010 interview with Collider, Nolan also spoke about the collaborative process with DiCaprio as he recalled the discussions they had about the emotional truths of the characters.
“The truthfulness of what he talks about the underlying truths of the character-emotional truths. The journey that character is on, and so we spent months talking about the script and re-writing the script. I spent a long time re-writing the script to make sure that the emotional journey of his character was the…that’s the driving force of the movie,” Nolan said.
While both Nolan and DiCaprio are on the same page about finding science fiction challenging, their shared narrative about emotional investment and detachment from reality has worked wonders for the narratives that are reflected in their films. Both also believe in going deep into science fiction than venturing only on the surface.
Although Nolan said that DiCaprio was challenging to work with, he has fully and repeatedly acknowledged the quality it added to his films. DiCaprio echoes his sentiments, as he looks up to Nolan as a great director to work with.
“The earliest conversations I had with Chris (Nolan) were about how both of us have a hard time with science fiction. We have a little bit of an aversion to it because it’s hard for us to emotionally invest in worlds that are too far detached from what we know,” DiCaprio once told MTV News.
“That’s what’s interesting about Chris Nolan’s science-fiction worlds. They’re deeply rooted visually in things that we’ve seen before. There are cultural references and it feels like a world that is tactile, that we understand, that we could jump into and it’s not too much of a leap of faith to make,” DiCaprio said.
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