Martin Scorsese Interviewed by Edgar Wright

By Michael Karpienski | Last Updated: December 09, 2023
The relationship between Actor-Director is a form of human connection which needs to be highlighted and recognized.
I chose this long interview because I wanted to get immersed into the world of one of the greatest directors alive. Scorsese's extraordinary body of work, his philosophy behind his films, and, as Scorsese turned 81 years old this year, he shares how he started working on “Taxi Driver.” He goes into his obsession with the darkness of New York City in the 70s, which was a connection he made with Dostoyevsky’s existential novel called “Notes of the Underground.” Scorsese was very inspired by the ‘underground life’, and the ‘underground-man’ — the psychology of a man in solitude, who has no recognition from the outside world, and how such a character could still be victorious at the end.
I found it fascinating how Scorsese relates with his actors. This sense of intimacy between the actor and the director in my view comes from the actor being open and trusting completely in the vision of the director. How naked De Niro is when connecting with Scorsese is almost like a romantic relationship when both partners are willing to surrender and one is the controller and the other trusts strongly enough in the other's point of view. Very difficult indeed. But very valuable for actors to know and to be aware of.
During the interview Scorsese mentions how valuable he finds Robert De Niro’s intervention in the script. While working with him, Scorsese was able to try many things. For example, when he shot a specific line, he loved the openness of De Niro’s ideas, which means as an actor he has to be very aware of the real position of his character. Furthermore, De Niro never takes predictable choices, he is willing to surprise the director, which is not a simple thing to do if you don’t feel free enough to be unapologetic in front of the production crew.
This is the reason why many enjoy the partnerships of Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis, or Scorsese with De Niro and DiCaprio, or even Francis Coppola and Marlon Brando. They all develop a long term collaboration, no different than a long-term relationship, where they can connect in a new way with each new story they put to screen. And with each one, they are willing to create fresh magic and collaborate by means of working together and starting anew again.
All of this is similar to my interaction with my pattern-maker. For me, connecting my vision deeply with the person who will construct the piece is fundamental. And from that point of view, I can say that I find him respectful of my ideas, very serious of my vision, open to the experience and aware of the purpose of the whole fashion collection. Without going further into my craft as a designer, I found this connection between actor and director very valuable to the process of bringing conception to reality.
-Fernanda Karpienski
Watch Scorsese’s interview