Leo DiCaprio hypes Lily Gladstone in British Vogue: ‘Lily is absolutely astonishing’

After Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio rarely took roles where he would have much interaction with women. Sure, he’s made movies where he’s got a wife or girlfriend or love interest, but for an actor who has been a movie star for nearly 30 years, it’s weird that his CV is so light on romantic dramas or “acting opposite a woman for any length of time.” What’s even weirder is that… Leo is actually good at on-screen romance. He’s a good enough actor to pull off “chemistry” with anyone. I was reminded of that as I read British Vogue’s cover story with Leo and Lily Gladstone, the stars of Killers of the Flower Moon. They play a married couple and Lily is getting so much buzz, but so is Leo. They have a lot of scenes together and, as Vogue emphasizes, they have an easy chemistry. Vogue even notes, “The pair are relaxed together, sibling-like almost – he the older brother, protective and very, very proud.” Some highlights:

Leo on Lily: “Lily is absolutely astonishing in this movie. She carries the entire film and the story. There was no reading,” DiCaprio recalls of his and Scorsese’s first meeting with Gladstone over Zoom. “Marty just instinctively knew Lily was the one.” He turns to Gladstone. “There was a truthfulness in your eyes that he saw even over a computer screen. I’ve never known [Scorsese] meet somebody and then immediately afterwards have this gravitational pull and instinct to say, ‘Let’s not wait another minute.’”

Gladstone on getting cast: “I was living at home with my parents. I thought, I don’t want to move to LA, because I’m kind of an atypical actor. I think it’s going to be hard for me to find a place if I take that route.”

The Reign of Terror. “It’s a completely forgotten part of American history,” says DiCaprio. “And an open wound that still festers.” “It’s not that long ago that the Reign of Terror happened,” Gladstone agrees. “I don’t want to label this a western. I’m happy that it’s being labelled a tragedy.”

Gladstone’s background: The authenticity of Gladstone’s performance can be attributed in part, though not entirely, to her heritage. While she is Native, she is not Osage. On her mother’s side, she is descended from the first cousin of the British prime minister William Gladstone (whose family were so deeply involved in colonial projects, his descendants recently travelled to South America to apologise for their role in enslaving Africans); on her father’s side, she is the direct descendant of Blackfeet Chief Red Crow, one of the Great Plains leaders. It was this ancestor who in 1877 entered into a famous treaty with the British Crown. In 1977, Gladstone’s family received a surprising new honorary member, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, then visiting Canada on behalf of the Crown. “When Prince Charles was given a Blood name, he was given my grandmother’s name,” Gladstone explains. “I have mixed feelings about that.”

On the Native pan-cultural experience: “My cultural understanding is more shaped by Blackfeet, because that’s the reservation I was raised on,” Gladstone says. “There’s a bit of a pan-cultural understanding that Native people hav. But there’s incredible diversity within Indian country.” After all, there are presently more than “560 federally recognised nations and another several hundred that are not federally recognised”.

Leo stayed in Tulsa while they filmed: DiCaprio stayed in nearby Tulsa, “back and forth” between the city and Osage County, he says. While he was there, he witnessed the centenary anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. “It was a complete coincidence, to be there exactly 100 years after the start of the Osage Reign of Terror and 100 years after the first murder of the Black Wall Street massacre happened in Tulsa. There were news cameras everywhere, people on the streets talking about it. It was very important to me to realise these were two sides of the same coin… people of colour that were independently wealthy amid a massive population of incredibly racist white people who want to extract those resources at any cost. Look at Standing Rock. Look at what’s going on in Indonesia, in the Amazon. These places that are home to incredible resources are also places that are most drenched in blood.”

Gladstone on ‘Killers’ being directed by a white man. “Nobody is going to hand an Osage filmmaker $200 million. There’s a level of allyship that’s absolutely necessary.”

[From British Vogue]

I loved this piece, honestly. Lily had space to talk and it felt like Leo agreed to the cover just to hype Lily. I mean, I’m sure he has his own Oscar campaign strategy, of course, I’m not naive. But what I’m saying is that his strategy of using his fame and his name to hype Lily is a great one. That seems to be what Marty Scorsese wants too – while Marty and Leo are giving interviews to support the film, they’re also platforming Lily and Native American communities. It’s working, I can’t wait to see this.

Covers & IG courtesy of British Vogue.

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39 Responses to “Leo DiCaprio hypes Lily Gladstone in British Vogue: ‘Lily is absolutely astonishing’”

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  1. Aaron says:

    Superficial comment in light of the subject of the film and the tenor of the interview, but, omg, she’s soooo pretty. That profile shot is to die for.

    • DK says:

      Did they do this interview in early July (or earlier)? If not, how is it not in violation of the strike?

      • tealily says:

        They very well may have. I’m sure they plan these covers out months in advance, and everyone knew this was going to be a big film.

  2. TiredMomofTwo says:

    She’s beautiful.

    • EastVillager says:

      Agreed. I can’t wait to see this. Her voice, her expressions – she really steals the trailer.

  3. Southern Fried says:

    I’m so excited to see this movie! Foolishly thought it opened on September 20 so was pumped well before then. The reviews just add to my excitement.

  4. JanetDR says:

    CBS Sunday Morning had an story about the movie and it seemed that Scorsese was being very respectful of the culture and the story. Protective and proud is exactly how I would describe Leo’s attitude towards Lily in the interview! What happened is terrible and I knew nothing about it before.

    • mellie says:

      Yes – I caught that this weekend as well. So glad I did because I knew nothing about it either.

    • SusieQ says:

      I highly, highly recommend reading the book, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” I finished it the other week, and it’s easily in my top three reads of the year. Astounding and infuriating all at once.

      • ama1977 says:

        The book is absolutely astonishing. I read it during the pandemic and was so excited to see it being made into a film. I definitely want to see this.

    • Kitten says:

      I really hope he had a LOT Of Native Americans (preferably Osage) consulting on this film because the risk of the white lens is a real one here. And I know that this is based on a a book but there absolutely should be NA voices involved to verify authenticity and also, to make some damn money.

      • Melissa says:

        I live in Pawhuska where much of it was filmed and the Osage Nation has been deeply involved in every level of filming. Scorsese made an effort to hire as many Natives in front of and behind the camera as possible. I salute him for his allyship in making this movie.

  5. Eowyn says:

    I very curious about this film but I do want to hear what a variety of Indigenous reviewers have to say about it before going.
    Very glad this history is being told, want to see a shift in movies in this direction again.
    Also yes Lily Gladstone is stunning, and I love her comments and Leo’s as well.

  6. Brassy Rebel says:

    It’s truly long past time that directors with Scorcese’s reputation take on these neglected but important stories about racism and American colonialism. I had thought that “Oppenheimer” had the Oscar wrapped up. Maybe not. 👏👏👏

  7. nutella toast says:

    I’ll admit I want to keep writing him off as a guy that gets a big pot belly in between films and creeps on younger women but also…he has charisma. Loads of it. I don’t want to find him handsome, but I do. Lily…I think the phrase “breathtaking” gets used too easily, but she just is. Leo’s right – there’s a depth to her eyes that’s rare.

    • MF says:

      Agree with this. And I will say about Leo: he speaks eloquently here about the tragedies of Tulsa and the Reign Terror. Would like to see more white actors doing what he’s doing by platforming the history of black folks and indigenous people.

    • J says:

      Yes. It’s hard to square with the creepy vibe in His dating life. I would be shocked to see him ever with someone his own age at this point.

    • Kitten says:

      Agreed. Questionable dating life aside, he’s undeniably talented and riveting on-screen.

  8. Concern Fae says:

    I remember the stories about how awful Leo was to Claire Danes on Romeo + Juliet. It’s a break for actresses that he decided to not do the romantic movies. At least he has enough self insight to choose projects where he is the focus.

    Looking forward to this.

  9. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    She is wonderful in Reservation Dogs and I’m sort of excited for the movie. She’s right, we’re still in a place of needing allyship for stories to be told. In Rutherford Falls there was a great episode about how that was all we had to see ourselves on screens for a long time in imperfect movies and the like. I’m “sort of” excited, because it can be too triggering for me to see some depictions of the truth and I’m sure that’s accurate for other POC too and the trauma of true events. I have read the book and other pieces around this history and that was hard. I’m extremely happy about the film and I’ll go see it and give myself permission to go out if I need to.

    p.s. I’m still so sad that Rutherford Falls was cancelled and Jana Schmieding is wonderful too and her comedic talents are a treasure. I blame Taylor Sheridan – LOL but FR. There was a parody show in the show called Adirondack and I think he was offended by it’s Yellowstone connotations. My tin foil tiara theory of the day.

  10. TIFFANY says:

    On the superficial side, yes, Lily is a absolutely stunning woman and if the strike ends, I am so looking forward to seeing her more during award season.

  11. Sankay says:

    You don’t see DiCaprio in many relationships on screen because he works a lot with Scorsese, and for all his complaining of the Marvel type movies, Scorsese rarely has females in his movies. I don’t understand how he has a love for old movies but rarely has well written roles for women in his movies.

  12. AnneL says:

    I am so excited for this movie. I’ve read the book three times and have been looking forward to this for what feels like years now.

    Apparently Scorsese changed up the script after talking with people in the Osage community. It was originally going to be more in line with the book, a whodunit that focused quite a bit on FBI man Tom White. They changed it to center it more on the Osage people, particularly on Gladstone’s character’s relationship with Leo’s. He was going to play Tom White and be the lead, but he himself said he wanted to play Ernest Burkhardt, who is a far more gray and nuanced figure, to put it mildly.

    Lily is beautiful. She is supposed to be amazing in the role of Molly Burkhardt and there is a lot of award buzz around her. I’d say of all of them, she is the most likely to come away with an award at this point. I’m glad to see Leo hyping her. He’s creepy in his dating habits but I still find him to be a great actor.

  13. Mslove says:

    I can’t wait to see this movie! I’m glad Leo is hyping Lily. I liked what he said in the interview too.

  14. Momo says:

    Bringing it back to the fashion: In one of the cover photos, Lily is wearing a black and white Eighth Generation wool blanket, which is from a Native-owned company based in Seattle that makes so many beautiful items all designed by Native artists. This one is the Coast Salish Pattern designed by a Nooksack artist. So great to see her bringing attention to fellow Native artists with this spread!

    • paintergal says:

      I am happy to say that on Eighth Generations website, they are sold out of many of the beautiful blankets.

      That profile photo of her is stunning.

  15. ama1977 says:

    The NYT (I think) had a piece a few weeks ago about the research that went into the costuming and how indigenous craftspeople were hired to produce a lot of the textiles and other pieces, as well as to consult to ensure that the clothing chosen was accurate to the time and the people. It also included information about how the Osage people repurposed US Army uniforms given to them by the US government (as a show of domination/force) into really amazing garments that were/are worn by brides on their wedding day. It was a great piece.

    ETA: I found it! It was NYT:


  16. Kirsten says:

    He’s probably most well-known for the films that are male-heavy, but he actually does have a pretty good resume of acting in movies with strong female roles: Blood Diamond (Jennifer Connelly), Revolutionary Road (Kate Winslett), Inception (Marion Cotillard and Elliot Page), The Great Gatsby (Cary Mulligan), Don’t Look Up (Jennifer Lawrence)…

  17. Charlotte says:

    Lily Gladstone is a goddamn treasure and the pride of Montana.

    She’s such a great actress (go watch Certain Women right now if you haven’t), and has done a ton of work on the reservations. She’s also incredibly nice, and very very funny.

    Could not be more thrilled to see her succeed like this.

    • paintybox says:

      Here to agree on her acting in Certain Women – she’s amazing in the film, heartbreaking. 💔

  18. LIONE says:

    This is how you do PR for movies! I actually want to see this film.

    But I cannot handle the way the jewellery is photoshopped into the photo! I understand why, they needed the cover to have some balance, but it looks so fake. Haha!

  19. Justjj says:

    As an Okie, I am deeply offended by Leo’s accent in the trailer but I still can’t wait to see it. To be clear though, literally no one from okc or tulsa has a drawl and over 90% of Oklahoma lives in either city. We are just so badly gerrymandered that the rural vote puts a bunch of far right wingnuts in office year after year and despite constant efforts to change it, the Republican stronghold over districting and voting is too strong for anyone to dismantle as of yet. Anyway, people from OK aren’t dumbasses, just need people to know.

  20. YesYeahyes says:

    I don’t agree. Leo has had many movies where he has on-screen relationships with women that are a vocal storyline and point. Revolutionary Road, Gatsby, Blood Diamond etc etc

  21. Sasha says:

    I absolutely loved him and Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road.