Even before being rejected by Nicholson, Scorsese was worried about how much success “The Departed” might achieve. When Nicholson was out of the picture, Scorsese’s vision was in a bit of a peril. So, the director called on DiCaprio to help him convince the veteran actor to join the film.
According to Nicholson in a 2007 interview with Diversity, it was the participation of the “Titanic” star that made him agree to participate in the film. “I guess you could say I was attracted to the company,” he said. While on the film, Nicholson was delighted with his experience working with Scorsese, much like DiCaprio.
“Marty is very liberal with his ideas and very receptive to your ideas. We built this character layer by layer, until we had something that would fit a great genre movie. great, but also push the envelope hard until the movie is almost working.”
Together, the two legends built the character of Frank Costello, who stole many scenes from the film. There are very few actors who can replicate Nicholson’s on-screen presence, and he sporadically brought that into “The Departed.” So along with some very interesting props, Nicholson brought all of his unique skills into the film, allowing it to reach the potential of Scorsese’s vision.
Finally, “The Departed” is another success story in Scorsese’s unreleased documentary.
https://www.slashfilm.com/1032498/martin-scorsese-needed-leonardo-dicaprio-to-sell-jack-nicholson-on-the-departed/ Martin Scorsese Needs Leonardo DiCaprio To Sell Jack Nicholson On Departure