Martin Scorsese’s jovial, laid-back presence on TikTok might’ve turned him into a social media star. But the venerated director insists that his newfound viral fame happened by accident—at least for him. Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Scorsese insisted, “I was tricked into that.”
Scorsese’s daughter Francesca, an actress and filmmaker herself, has introduced him to a whole new medium by filming and editing videos of him that quickly took over TikTok. Beyond the novelty of seeing a famous director show up on the app, the videos themselves are unfailingly joyous. In one, Scorsese works his way through a bracket of acclaimed films, settling on 2001: A Space Odyssey as his top pick before bursting into cheers with Francesca. In another, he auditions the family schnauzer, Oscar, for a role in his upcoming movie.
“I need to find something that I could take further and to another level,” Scorsese tells the stoic pooch. “What that is I’m not quite sure, but I’ve heard some extraordinary things about you.”
According to Scorsese, however, Francesca wasn’t necessarily forthcoming about her intentions when she first stuck a camera in his face while he was still in his pajamas.
“That was a trick,” Scorsese told the Times. “I didn’t know those things go viral. They say ‘viral.’ ... I’m at home doing things, and she comes up to me and says, ‘Dad, look over here and tell me this.’”
The Killers of the Flower Moon director didn’t know Francesca was going to post the video. “I don’t know what they’re going to do,” he told the Times, echoing a sentiment felt by parents everywhere. “They always have those iPhone cameras in their hands. You’re not aware. I honestly did not know she was going to post it... They use the words ‘post it,’ right?”
Francesca, who is 23 years old and (like her father) graduated from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, was also the one who convinced him to join Instagram. Alongside her usual content, she’s begun posting adorable videos of her father—like a 30-second trailer that captures him goofing off, accompanied by the caption “He’s a certified silly goose.”
In another video, Francesca quizzes her father on various slang terms like “tea,” “sneaky link,” and “cap.” (“A ship?” he says at one point, when asked about the fanfiction-world term for a fan-endorsed, possibly non-canonical relationship between two characters. “A ship is a boat.”)
As beloved and accomplished as Scorsese might be as a director, Francesca’s videos may have introduced him to an entirely new audience. By revealing more of her father’s personal life, Francesca hopes the world will understand another side of him.
“It’s really awesome to see that one of the most incredible filmmakers, he’s not just this big star that people see—I mean, he is—but he’s also a totally normal person that walks around in his pajamas, plays with his dogs and just helps his daughter with her math homework if he can,” Francesca told the New York Times in October. “People love seeing that side of him.”
She’s not wrong—and with any luck, there’ll be plenty more silly videos to come.