For Leo's and Willie's fight, Mark and Joaquin agreed to actually fight each other. Although they wore knee and elbow pads, everything on-screen is actually Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg beating each other up. There are no stunts, and the entire thing was done in two takes, from three different angles. The next day, they were black and blue.
Although theatrically released in the fall of 2000, the film was shot during the spring and summer of 1998 and was originally slated for theatrical release in the fall of 1999. Studio and production problems, however, delayed the release for a full year.
The New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) initially refused permission to film on its property. The filmmakers decided to film at an old abandoned freight yard and a studio set. Finally, a deal was reached allowing one scene to be shot inside the 207th Street Car Shop and Yard on NYCTA property.