I thought if Robert De Niro wants to direct a movie, Robert De Niro gets to direct a movie.
It's not so easy. Especially this movie. Matt was crucial. He said, "I love this script. I'd do it for nothing." And he did. Not for nothing, but practically. It couldn't have been done otherwise. A lot of people took less money. It was expensive as it is.
How has acting changed in the 30 years since those movies?
Well, Matt is a younger actor, but very dedicated and very serious about what he does. And Leonardo DiCaprio is another. He's wonderful in The Departed.
You considered him for this, right?
Yes, but schedulewise it was too complicated. Both Leo and Matt take it very seriously.
Matt's performance in The Good Shepherd is very minimalist.
We had worked on that. We wanted to make sure his character was in check. It was important not to be too accessible or available. I always go back to what people do in reality. Would they do this in a real situation? So I'd say, You don't have to look at the person. You don't have to react. You can do nothing. And that will have more impact and power than anything you could do.