Leonardo DiCaprio On Filming ‘Shutter Island’: ‘It Was Really Very Traumatic’

Leonardo DiCaprio heads into theaters this weekend with his latest thriller “Shutter Island,” directed by Oscar winner Martin Scorsese. But filming the movie isn’t something he will forget any time soon.

“It took me back to the one time I really remembered my dreams because I usually don’t. But when I used a nicotine patch when I was trying to quit smoking, I did have bloodcurdling nightmares of mass murders, and I woke up in the middle of the night and had to take the patches off,” Leo said in a new interview with Parade.com. “I guess I had moments like that in the film.”

The actor said filming the project not only haunted him while he was asleep, but during his days of preparation and while on the set.

“I have to say ‘Shutter Island’ was one of the most intense, hardcore filming experiences I’ve ever had as we explored what the mentally ill had to face in the days when mental hospitals were called insane asylums,” he said. “It was really very traumatic, and I don’t say that about a film very often. I went to places and unearthed some things that I didn’t think I was capable of. It was like an emotional layer cake that just kept getting deeper and deeper.”

Although Leonardo is known for his impressive body of work, which continues with “Shutter Island,” a film critics are raving over, he said he understands how an actor could lose it, stressing over the reaction to less-than-lauded performances.

“Just because you’ve done a good performance once, doesn’t mean you’re always going to be good. That’s why some of the greatest actors in the world have gone a little bit nuts. They’re saying to themselves, ‘What happened? You used to love me?’” Leo said. “It’s an easy trap to fall into. You just have to realize that when you’re hot, you’re hot, and when you’re not, you’re not.”

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