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Macau

Leonardo DiCaprio's 'greatest cinematic relationship' on show as trio including De Niro and Scorsese open Studio City casino in Macau

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 October, 2015, 11:04pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 October, 2015, 5:29pm

Tinseltown came to Macau big-time yesterday as Hollywood A-listers Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro joined living movie directing legend Martin Scorsese on the red carpet at the opening of the HK$3.2 billion Studio City resort.

The two actors and the Hollywood director attended a press conference about the short-film The Audition today at Macau Studio, which drew about 300 journalists from different parts in the world.

The Scorsese-directed short film The Audition, produced to promote Melco Crown Entertainment’s Hollywood-inspired Macau casino resort, is the first time that DiCaprio, De Niro and Brad Pitt, — the only one missing yesterday — have starred in a film together.

Between giggles from the audience and the frenetic flashing of cameras, De Niro confessed he knew little about the former Portuguese enclave and said: “It’s fascinating. The Portuguese came here 500 years ago… You know there is so much of the world that I haven’t learned about.”

READ MORE: Hollywood comes to Macau: Scorsese, De Niro, DiCaprio called in to boost flagging fortunes

The Audition features De Niro and DiCaprio playing themselves and arriving at Studio City, where both actors realise they are up for the same role in a film, directed by Scorsese.

“We tried to make it kind of reality-based with humor about ourselves,” said Scorsese, best known for the movies Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

DiCaprio said that he was truly amazed by the experience and having the chance to work with De Niro and Scorsese. “These two men are my fathers in the world of cinema… To have scenes with Bob [De Niro] and being directed by Scorsese was a slice of heaven for me as an actor.”

DiCaprio even called it the “greatest cinematic relationship in cinema history.”

James Packer, co-chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment Limited and Lawrence Ho’s business partner, was the man with the Hollywood links and Scorsese said that he was first presented with the idea by producer Brett Ratner, DiCaprio and De Niro.

“The question was what the creative freedom really entails,” he said. “A short film is even tougher because it has to be a film… it has to be contained in itself.”

Responding to criticism that The Audition was more a commercial than a film, Ratner said that “first and foremost it’s actually a film. You can say it’s helping to promote the casino but it’s really a combination of art and commerce at the same time.”

The film was shot during five days straight. “They [the actors] were 200 percent committed and we are very proud,” he said.

READ MORE: Martin Scorsese's star-studded film produced for Macau casino is pulled from Venice Film Festival

Scorsese’s connection with Macau will go deeper in his coming movie The Silence, expected to be ready in 2016. “We started shooting in February in Taipei, recreating Macau 1640,” Scorsese said.

He said he had understood the reach of Portugal and Spain in this region of the world, noting Macau’s colonial architecture. “Macau IS a place that was created to be a bridge between the East and the West,” he said.

In the movie, which is still being shot, “we got the façade, the churches and the stairs,” Scorsese said, referring to Macau elements.

According to the IMDb website, the plot of The Silence is focused on two Jesuit priests in seventeenth century, who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity.