The two big leads in “Killers of the Flower Moon” are Robert De Niro, who plays rancher and businessman William Hale, and Leonardo DiCaprio, who portrays his nephew Ernest Burkhart. This marks the first time the two longtime Scorsese collaborators are appearing in one of the director’s feature films together (2015’s meta comedy short “The Audition” aside). According to early buzz surrounding “Killers of the Flower Moon,” both stars deliver powerful performances.
That also goes for the supporting cast, which includes Lily Gladstone in the role of Mollie Kyle, an Osage native and wife to DiCaprio’s Burkhart. Gladstone caused a small stir with her role in Kelly Reichardt’s 2016 indie effort “Certain Women,” and the native American actor is already receiving praise for her performance in “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
Rounding out the central cast is Jesse Plemons in the role of Texas Ranger-turned BOI agent Tom White, who’s brought to the Osage Nation to investigate the ongoing killings. Plemons appeared in Scorsese’s previous film “The Irishman,” and he will be taking on the role originally intended for DiCaprio in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” As IndieWire reported, White was written for DiCaprio before the star decided he’d rather play a secondary lead, leaving the role open for Plemons. Elsewhere, the film features Tantoo Cardinal as Lizzie Q, Mollie’s mother, John Lithgow as the prosecutor in the case against William Hale, and Brendan Fraser as Hale’s lawyer W. S. Hamilton.
As Deadline reported back in March 2021, Scorsese cast several other indigenous actresses including Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins and Jillian Dion, who play Mollie’s sisters, Anna, Reta and Minnie.