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Character Chronicles: Leonardo Dicaprio As Ernest Burkhart, for Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated “Killers Of The Flower Moon”

Leonardo DiCaprio talks about his character Ernest Burkhart in "Killers of the Flower Moon," the new epic Western crime saga from Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone.

Apple Original Films has unveiled a new featurette, “Character Chronicles: Leonardo DiCaprio as Ernest Burkhart”, for Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Starring DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone, “Killers of the Flower Moon” will premiere in theaters around the world, including IMAX® theaters, on October 18.

Challenged and motivated by the role of Ernest Burkhart, DiCaprio committed himself to finding a footing for the character. “He assimilated himself into the Osage culture and became very much a chameleon,” the actor says of Burkhart. “We had a lot of meetings with members of the Osage community and they were incredibly helpful. We had some great advisers – that was a deep dive.”

Whenever possible, DiCaprio sought firsthand perspectives, sometimes from actual descendants and relatives of his character. Even so, he found himself approaching one of the most complex and conflicted acting jobs of his career. Burkhart arrives in Oklahoma wounded from the war, unable to perform heavy labor, and something of a dupe, naively dangled as bait by his uncle to the single Mollie. After he becomes complicit in the conspiracy, he still feels his love is genuine.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone

“Leo and I got very excited about creating Ernest as a character,” Scorsese says. 

At the turn of the 20th century, oil brought a fortune to the Osage Nation, who became some of the richest people in the world overnight. The wealth of these Native Americans immediately attracted white interlopers, who manipulated, extorted, and stole as much Osage money as they could before resorting to murder. Based on a true story and told through the improbable romance of Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone), “Killers of the Flower Moon” is an epic western crime saga, where real love crosses paths with unspeakable betrayal. Also starring Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is directed by Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese from a screenplay by Eric Roth and Martin Scorsese, based on David Grann’s best-selling book.


Hailing from Apple Studios, “Killers of the Flower Moon” was produced alongside Imperative Entertainment, Sikelia Productions and Appian Way. Producers are Martin Scorsese, Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas and Daniel Lupi, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Rick Yorn, Adam Sommer, Marianne Bower, Lisa Frechette, John Atwood, Shea Kammer and Niels Juul serving as executive producers.   

Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio

Director: Martin Scorsese         

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone, Tantoo Cardinal, John Lithgow, Brendan Fraser, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion, William Belleau, Louis Cancelmi, Tatanka Means, Michael Abbot Jr., Pat Healy, Scott Shepard, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson

Writers: Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese              

Producers: Martin Scorsese, Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Daniel Lupi    

Exec. Producers: Leonardo DiCaprio, Rick Yorn, Adam Somner, Marianne Bower, Lisa Frechette, John Atwood, Shea Kammer, Niels Juul

Killers of the Flower Moon” is distributed in the Philippines by Paramount Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Connect with #KillersOfTheFlowerMoon and tag paramountpicsph

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Killers of the Flower Moon
Crime, Drama, Thriller
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