Leonardo Dicaprio has praised director Baz Luhrmann and Martin Scorsese - calling the latter “one of the great Americans” as he spoke to Contact about the pair’s upcoming film The Great Gatsby and his future project The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Watch the interview with Leonardo DiCaprio about The Great Gatsby

The adaptation of the revered F. Scott Fitzgerald 1922 novel is set against the Roaring 20’s, during which America was enjoying a financial boom. However the novel foretold of struggles ahead, with some saying it predicted the great Wall Street Crash of the late 20’s. “It’s very timely and it’s timeless” said DiCaprio of the novel, pointing out – with the US going through more financial difficulty – that it portrayed “a cycle that keeps repeating itself in our country.” DiCaprio ruminated plenty on the merits of the book, and the feeling of re-creating this incredible pivotal time in his country’s history, but he also gave a lot of credit to his long-time working partner Luhrmann – who he described as “a bit of a Gatsby himself” in the way that he always envisioned how he wanted his life to turn out.

He also had words for Scorsese too though. “For me he’s been an incredible mentor and someone who has taught me more about respecting the art of cinema than anyone else in my life” DiCaprio mused. “Every time I step on set with him I learn something new and he brings me closer to the actor that I want to become. He’s one of the great Americans certainly, a national treasure.” The Wallstreet Wolf is the pair’s fifth movie working together.