Shocking Revelations: Jack Nicholson's Sinister Improvisations in 'The Departed

Matt Damon Dishes on Jack Nicholson's Devilish Lines in Iconic Film
Shocking Revelations: Jack Nicholson's Sinister Improvisations in 'The Departed

Leonardo DiCaprio thanked his co-star Jack Nicholson for helping him stay in character for his role in the $291 million Oscar-winning film The Departed. DiCaprio played Billy Costigan in the 2006 crime thriller, which was praised by critics and became a box office success. Nicholson's performance was also lauded, and according to DiCaprio himself, it was helpful to have Nicholson hold a gun to his face during a scene to keep him in character.

The Departed, which featured an ensemble cast including Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, and others, won four Academy Awards and marked DiCaprio's third collaboration with director Martin Scorcese. The actor-director duo has delivered numerous hits and is beloved by fans.

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Overall, The Departed is widely considered one of the best movies ever made, and it's easy to see why given its all-star cast, gripping plot, and unforgettable performances.

he Wolf of Wall Street actor in an interview stated that he was ready to portray any of the two main roles in the film. Both of them intrigued him very much and he described them as two sides of the same coin. But when Leonardo DiCaprio ultimately got the role of Billy, he couldn’t understand how to play the role. It was Jack Nicholson who helped him. He thanked The Shining actor’s terrifying acting techniques that helped him to stay in his character and discover more about it.


“The hardest part was what do I convey to the audience if I’m surrounded by killers all the time and I have to pretend to be somebody that I’m not. I didn’t initially know how to play it. It really helped in scenes when Nicholson is holding a gun to your face and making you beg for your life, the character, you come up with dialogue, you come up with things to say to survive. That was one of the first scenes that I had and it really helped me in discovering the character, the panic attacks he had and the fear for his life on a constant basis.” On the other hand, the movie’s other major cast Matt Damon also praised Jack Nicholson for his performance and added that sometimes the actor improvised his own lines while filming.

During an interview on Marc Maron's WTF podcast, Matt Damon, who played the role of Collin Sullivan in The Departed, discussed Jack Nicholson's sinister rewrites of certain scenes in the film. Damon revealed that Nicholson improvised many of his lines to make them sound more devilish.

Damon cited one particular scene where Nicholson's character suggests shooting a woman in the back of the head and then commenting on how she fell. According to Damon, the line suggests that the character has done this before, and is very sinister. Damon also mentioned that Nicholson's character was not originally a major part of the movie, but the director and Leonardo DiCaprio convinced him to join the cast, which resulted in many rewrites to accommodate his character.

Variety reported that the improvisations by Nicholson added another layer to the role of Frank Costello, and were very graphic. Despite his character's limited screen time, Nicholson's performance was widely praised and earned him critical acclaim.

Shocking Revelations: Jack Nicholson's Sinister Improvisations in 'The Departed

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