'The Revenant' Director Alejandro G. Inarritu: "We Are Made to Communicate and Express — That's What Film Is About"

"Leo has this internal rhythm that is just like a machine."

Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Inarritu sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for the Director Roundtable to discuss his latest film, The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The director said he was "very impressed" with DiCaprio, recalling the first time he saw the actor's work. "I remember the first time that I saw Leo, which was in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, which I think is a fantastic movie." Inarritu noted the "the way [DiCaprio is] portrayed  very vulnerable and fragile."

"That's something in Leo that I haven't seen in a long time," said Inarritu, noting DiCaprio's Gilbert Grape performance. He told DiCaprio he wanted "to see the man that can be broken."

"What I like about Leo is that he is not just only an actor, he's coming from a filmmaker's point of view. He understands the film. He's not about ego, vanity or 'me, me.' "

Inarritu continued to note his pleasure with DiCaprio's work in The Revenant, saying, "In this film, different than in other films he has done, he has almost no words. So what he had to do [was very difficult], which was to communicate or express or make you feel fear, anxiety, cold, sadness, rage  all those things that are easier to convey with words than with body language and the eyes."

The director, who began working as an esteemed independent filmmaker (Birdman, Babel, BiutifulAmores Perros, 21 Grams), touched upon contemporary television as a platform for promoting independent filmmakers of today. "I think that independent filmmaking has, in a way, transported to TV so that TV is home to great independent filmmakers. There's great stories, great things."

The full Director Roundtable will air on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Jan. 3, at 11 a.m. ET on SundanceTV.

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