Top 10 Actor-Director Pairings

Top 10 Actor-Director Pairings
Andrew Cooper / Paramount / AP

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese

Following Scorsese's epochal films with Robert De Niro (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, etc.), you might not have predicted that the director would spend an entire decade of filmmaking, from Gangs of New York in 2002 to the new Shutter Island, with a very different actor of German-Italian heritage. De Niro was a star in the Method mold: simmering, then exploding, and all to spectacular effect. DiCaprio has a subtler gift: he's implosive instead of explosive, and tops at allowing the viewer to discover, as if in confidence, the emotions that roil his characters' souls.

Twice he's played the endangered hero — in Gangs of New York, in which Daniel Day-Lewis got the strutting, twisted De Niro role, and as the undercover cop in The Departed — and twice a more complex creature, as Howard Hughes in The Aviator and a U.S. marshal unearthing awful truths in Shutter Island. The new best friends will reconvene soon, when Leo plays the title role in Sinatra, a movie about the singer's relationship with the Mob.

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