There has been a fake rumor making the rounds that Leo would be starring as the new Scarface in a Universal-made remake, and it got me thinking he really would be a perfect casting choice! Many are hesitant about remaking the film in the first place, but instead of debating whether or not they should, let's be hopeful that if they do, the writers, director, and possible Leo will totally crush the film. So, here are five performances that will help you see Leo as the one and only Scarface.
5. Gangs of New York
Leo holds his own opposite the legendary Daniel Day-Lewis! A performance that is good enough to go toe-to-toe with him is one good enough to merit a spot on this list. Even more importantly, we get to see Leo portray a man who fights his way for years to get out from under the men in power, only to create his own enterprise. Leo thrives as Amsterdam Vallon who works tirelessly to kill those who have wronged him and his family and to make a name for himself. Gangs of New York's Leo gave us the perfect insight into the beginnings of Tony Montana.
4. The Aviator
In The Aviator, Leo gives us an amazingly insightful performance into the crazy life of legend Howard Hughes. Despite the immersive acting of Leo, what makes this film a great example of his ability to portray Tony Montana is his ability to convincingly act paranoid. One of Tony's biggest downfalls in Scarface is his constant suspicion that everyone is out to get him. Much like Howard Hughes, Tony pushes everyone away and allows himself to go to some dark places. Leo does just this in The Aviator by showing Hughes' spiral into mental distress caused by his paranoia. In fact, this was the most interesting part of the film, in my opinion. I think he'd be great at portraying a paranoid drug kingpin that murderously lashes out due to his persistent fear that everyone wants to stab him in the back.
3. The Departed
The Departed was one of Leo's all-time greatest performances. He really showed us how dark he can become and how damaged he can seem. The cerebral performance that he delivers is a great indication that he's capable of handling Tony Montana who struggles with being in over his head but tries so hard to remain calm. In this film, he describes why he's perfect for undercover work by saying that his hand never shakes, and I think this is the exact quality that we need to see in Tony. Montana constantly makes decisions that he's not in the position to make, kills off the cuff, but is able to keep moving forward and seem like nothing is wrong. It isn't until the end that we see both of these character begin to crack only to be gunned down.
2. Django Unchained
Despite Leo having a stellar performance throughout this film, one unscripted moment defined him as an actor. When he is ranting and threatening Jaime Foxx's Django, he cuts his hand whilst slamming it on the table, and without skipping a beat, continues his lines with even more vigor and fervor than before. It was a spectacle to see on screen and will go down as one of the greatest unscripted moments in cinema. During this scene, Leo's eyes scream crazy and his ability to be completely immersed in the psychosis of his character is the exact dedication that makes him the perfect choice for Tony Montana. Calvin Candie was also the most vile creature we've seen Leo become, and if he's to become a murderous cocaine addict, he's going to need to tap into these dark places.
1. Wolf of Wall Street
Not much needs to be said for this obvious choice. Jordan Belfort was basically the real life, white-collar Tony Montana minus the murder. Leo completely owned this role and embodies Belfort like no one expected. He thrived as a conniving, drug-addicted, criminal who loved to step on others to get his way, while remaining oddly loyal to a select few. His spiral into addiction and paranoia as well as his decision to go down in a blaze of glory are great parallels between the real life Belfort and Montana. With Leo crushing his performance and interpretation of Jordan Belfort, I have no doubt he could do something eerily similar with Scarface himself.
Even though the rumors surrounding Leo being attatched to a Scarface remake haven't been confirmed, would you still like to see him in this role? It may be unlikely, but I would be excited for this film if it were to land a name as huge as his because Leo has the talent and charisma to redefine a character as iconic as Al Pacino's Tony Montana. Thanks for reading!