True story of Killers Of The Flower Moon lovers boggles DiCaprio, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

True story of Killers Of The Flower Moon lovers boggles DiCaprio

It can be hard to believe that Killers Of The Flower Moon, the acclaimed crime saga from Oscar-winning American director Martin Scorsese, is based on real events – and that is true even for Leonardo DiCaprio.

The film is about the murders of Osage Native Americans in 1920s Oklahoma, when members of the tribe became some of the richest people in the world following the discovery of oil on their land.

DiCaprio, 49, plays a real figure from that time, Ernest Burkhart, a white man who courted and married wealthy Osage woman Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone).

He and his uncle, William King Hale (Robert De Niro), then conspired to murder members of Mollie’s family so Ernest would inherit their rights to the oil.

But the film suggests that Ernest did love Mollie, and DiCaprio says he and Scorsese re-angled the script, which is based on a 2017 non-fiction bestseller by David Grann, around this unlikely romance.

“We knew this entire movie was reliant on this love story working,” DiCaprio says at a Zoom press conference.

But the fact that Ernest built a life with Mollie and had three children with her while also plotting to kill her family beggars belief.

“This man simultaneously being responsible for eradicating her bloodline, it was almost impossible to believe that this was a true story, and that was what was so shocking about it,” says DiCaprio.

“In the original draft (of the script), I saw this man confessing to the woman he loved that he was a part of eradicating her entire family. And it gave me the strangest emotional feeling. I said, ‘How could this story even exist?’”

Scorsese wanted the Osage characters to be played by real members of the tribe or other Native American performers.

Gladstone, who is a member of the Blackfeet and Nez Perce tribes and grew up on a Blackfeet reservation in Montana, won the role of Mollie.

“We spent so much time in the community hearing about what this dynamic would’ve been like, and it’s one I’ve seen a lot growing up: this sort of regal, self-possessed woman and the man who lives to crack that shell a little bit and make her laugh,” says the 37-year-old American actress.

Gladstone credits DiCaprio with helping her pull off the role, which has won her rave reviews from critics. What surprised her most about working with the star was “how incredibly generous he is – as a human being and as an actor".

“It’s intimidating walking into this group of creators and being the new kid on the block, but all of it was just so easy to get around because he is so patient, generous and committed to this film.