Leonardo DiCaprio Wore ‘Some Padding on His Butt’ for ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Paddle Scene With Robert De Niro


A particularly jarring scene in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon wasn’t in the initial script for the film, at least according to cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto.  

The film, led by Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone, is an adaptation of David Grann’s 2017 book of the same name. As those who’ve read the book will note, there is no instance of anyone being struck with a paddle. In the film, however, DiCaprio’s character Ernest Burkhart is indeed paddled as punishment by Robert De Niro‘s character (and Ernest’s uncle) William King Hale.

Speaking with Jason Guerrasio for Insider, Prieto said he doesn’t think this moment was in the first version of the script but was instead added later. When it came to filming the scene, Prieto added, he realized the potential pain DiCaprio must have been feeling during the multiple takes despite the Oscar winner wearing padding.

“I do remember doing them quite a few times and thinking, ‘Oh, that must hurt,'” Prieto told Insider. “There was some padding on his butt. But you could tell De Niro was really hitting him.”