If there is one thing Martin Scorsese knows how to do, it is a brilliant crime movie, and he excelled himself when he made The Departed (2006). The List Love is therefore taking a look back at this incredible film with 10 facts you’ve never read about The Departed.
1. Cast Choices
Robert DeNiro was Scorsese’s leading man for many years, appearing in the likes of Raging Bull (1980), Taxi Driver (1976) and the epic Goodfellas (1990). He was originally offered the role of Frank Costello, but he turned it down, and so the part was given to Jack Nicholson.
Ray Liotta was offered the part of Dignam, but he had to pull out due to scheduling conflicts, and so the part went to Mark Walhberg. Brad Pitt, whose production company Plan B made the movie, was set to play Colin but dropped out to work on Babel (2006), so Matt Damon was brought in as his replacement.
2. Bizarre Improv
Jack Nicholson came up with a bunch of bizarre scene ideas, including throwing cocaine on hookers and the suggestion of wearing a strap-on in the porn theatre.
3. Oscar Nomination
Leonardo DiCaprio could have finally bagged himself an Academy Award for his role in The Departed. The studio reportedly did not want to place Leo in the lead actor role, fearing favouritism, and chose to place him as a lead actor for Blood Diamond (2006).
Leo refused to go up against his fellow Departed actors in the supporting actor category. Warner Bros. therefore bought no supporting actor ads for DiCaprio, and so he was not nominated for the role.
Many people are unaware that The Departed is a remake of a 2002 Hong Kong film called Infernal Affairs. It was Scorsese’s second remake after the 1991 movie Cape Fear. He didn’t realise it was a remake until after he agreed to direct it, and he chose not to watch the movie until he had finished directing The Departed.
5. Boston Red Sox
Jack Nicholson obviously isn’t much of a fan of the Boston Red Sox, as he refused to wear the team’s hat during the movie, swapping it for a New York Yankees hat.
6. Birthday Blunder
According to Billy Costigan’s file, his birthday is November 7, 1984; however, a second shot in the same scene labels his birthday as November 7, 1980.
7. Off-Screen Fued
According to Ray Winstone (Frenchy), he and Jack Nicholson clashed during filming. He reportedly said: “Me and Jack did not seem to get on too well. Maybe he was going through a funny time. Everyone loves him to death; I just wanted him to be a great guy. We just did not click”.
8. X Marks the Spot
Throughout The Departed, an X mark is shown in the background to mark all the characters who die throughout the film. Look out for the x symbolising Costigan is walking to his death, or the x on the building’s glass as Queenan falls to his death. There are many more, so pay close attention.
Jack Nicholson was allowed to improvise a lot on camera, and the scene where Billy and Frank are talking was loosely scripted, such as when Frank pulls out the gun.
10. Actor Salaries
50% of the film’s budget was spent on the actors’ salaries. Leo makes a reported $20 million per movie, whilst Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson typically make $10 million per flick. Add to that Mark Walhberg, Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin’s salaries and you’ve got yourself an expensive movie. That’s most likely 50% of the $90 million budget.
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