Boston, Massachusetts is the backdrop of Martin Scorsese’s 2006 crime thriller The Departed. Many iconic Boston locations are featured as the Massachusetts State Police wages war against the South Boston mob.
The Departed was able to capture the essence of Boston in every aspect of the production by conducting careful research, finding the most authentic filming locations and having the actors take the time to live a day in the life of the characters the film is based on. Matt Damon worked with a Massachusetts State Police unit out of Boston to prepare for his role, accompanying them on routine patrols and drug raids, and learning police procedures like how to pat down suspects. Former bad boy Mark Wahlberg based his performance on the police officers who’d arrested him about two dozen times in his youth, and the reactions of his parents who had to bail him out with their grocery money. Jack Nicholson’s character is based off of the infamous South Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger, who spent 12 years on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list and was arrested in 2011 at the age of 81. Nicholson allegedly joined The Departed because he wanted to play Frank Costello, who he considered to be the ultimate incarnation of evil.
The Departed’s star-studded cast includes Leonardo DiCarprio (Billy Costigan), Matt Damon (Colin Sullivan), Jack Nicholson (Frank Costello), Mark Walberg (Dignam), Martin Sheen (Queenan), Alec Baldwin (Ellerby), and Vera Farmiga (Madolyn). The Departed features so many stars that their salaries took up half of the movie’s $90 million budget! Fun fact: DiCaprio dropped out of the lead role in The Good Shepherd to play Billy Costigan.
* In an effort to stay current, we are constantly updating our tours with new locations and cannot guarantee the presence of locations mentioned on our site. If you have a particular interest in locations from a specific TV show or movie, please let your tour guide know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.