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Leonardo DiCaprio’s real blood Features in ‘Django Unchained’ scene

Leonardo DiCaprio had, in the past, conspired with the paparazzi to hide his smoking habit from his mother Irmelin Indenbirken. Pic: REX Features


Leonardo DiCaprio’s real blood Features in ‘Django Unchained’ scene


On the set of “Django Unchained,” Leonardo DiCaprio cut his hand while the cameras were rolling and kept moving through the scene, never breaking character. The Weinstein Company confirmed to Yahoo! Movies that his real-life bloodied hand made it into the final cut of the film.

According to Variety, the on-set mishap occurred during the dinner scene starring DiCaprio, Jaimie Foxx, Kerry Washington, and Christoph Waltz. Without giving anything away, there is a scene in which the star of The Departed slams his hand against the table… In the process, a piece of real glass was crushed. Stacey Sher, a producer on the film, told the trade publication, “Leo had slammed his hand on the table countless times and he moved his hand further and he crushed a crystal cordial glass. Blood was dripping down his hand. He never broke character. He kept going. He was in such a zone. It was very intense. He required stitches.”

“My hand started really pouring blood all over the table,” says DiCaprio. “Maybe they thought it was done with special effects. I wanted to keep going. It was more interesting to watch Quentin’s and Jamie’s reaction off-camera than to look at my hand.” After the take, the room erupted in a standing ovation. “We did it bloodied and bandaged for the rest of the movie,” says DiCaprio, to give Tarantino the option of using or omitting the gory take. “I’m glad Quentin kept it in.”

The blood was even worked into the scene, with the villain rubbing some on Washington’s face. “Not because he cut himself,” Sher said. “Because in that scene he had pages and pages of monologue. His performance was masterful. His level of commitment is extraordinary.”

Tarantino and DiCaprio worked together on the film to the point where Tarantino used research provided by the “Titanic” star. According to Variety, DiCaprio discovered a book on phrenology, a racist pseudo-science of the time, which inspired parts of Tarantino’s script. Sher said, “Their collaboration raised the stakes and made for an exciting atmosphere on set,”

Django Unchained got off to a relatively easy start in 2009, when Tarantino had just finished an essay on Sergio Corbucci, director of the 1966 spaghetti Western Django, for his upcoming book on major auteurs such as Don Siegel and Douglas Sirk. “The Corbucci piece put all those images in my head. I was listening to spaghetti Western soundtracks, and the first scene came to me. Dr. King Schultz [Waltz’s bounty hunter] just came out of my pen.”


Many of the “Django” trailers contain very brief flashes of the scene in which DiCaprio bloodies his hand, but his actual bloody hand isn’t visible in them. You’ll have to see the movie for yourself to believe it.

DiCaprio was recently nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.

“Django Unchained” is in theaters now.

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