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Martin Scorsese discusses his anxiety over coronavirus lockdown after initially feeling relief

Martin Scorsese on the red carpet
Martin Scorsese has discussed his experiences of lockdown, which have included both anxiety and relief. Pic credit: © Carrie-nelson

Moviemaker Martin Scorsese initially felt relief when the coronavirus lockdown came into force, but that was soon replaced with anxiety.

The Goodfellas director has made a short film about his time in lockdown, which will be airing on the U.K. TV channel BBC Two on Thursday (28 May); in the movie, he speaks about the full range of emotions he has experienced since being forced to self-isolate.

At 77 years old, The Irishman director is firmly in an at-risk age category; however, he states he was initially relieved when the lockdown started due to his current hefty workload.

Scorsese felt relief that he could temporarily stop working

Speaking to BBC News, Scorsese said, “We had been working so hard on so many different projects, and things were spinning and spinning and spinning, and suddenly it was a crash and a stop.”

He continued by saying it was a relief that he didn’t have to tackle his work for the time being: “At first, it was a day or so of a kind of relief. I didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything. I mean, I had to do everything, but I didn’t have to do it then.”

But he admitted that things changed when the severity of the lockdown and the pandemic became clear, “It was a kind of relief. And then the anxiety set in.” The Wolf of Wall Street director explained he hadn’t realized “that the lockdown was going to be so intense.”

He went on to talk about the unsettling feeling of there being no end in sight: “Experiencing that time, meaning, whereas before I thought, you’re sitting there doing nothing. But, no, you’re existing – that’s one thing.

Scorsese felt anxiety with no end in sight

“I have been in this room, basically, with no end in sight – still in a sense with no end in sight, for me anyway, [and] a sense of relief settled in and a real sense of freedom,” he concluded. “Because you can’t do anything else.”

Scorsese’s most recent epic movie The Irishman tells the story of the murder of labor union leader Frank Hoffa as seen through the eyes of mobster Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran.

The movie is loosely based on the true-life disappearance of Hoffa in 1975; however, it has proved controversial as most disagree with the movie’s basic premise that Sheeran was the murderer.

Martin Scorsese hit the headlines at this year’s Oscars with his hilarious reaction to Eminem’s performance of his 2002 hit song Lose Yourself. While most audience members seemed to be either confused or overjoyed by the rapper’s performance, Scorsese appeared to fall asleep.

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