He made hearts go on in the ‘90s, played the Bard’s greatest lover, cares about the planet, and has never won an Oscar. We’re talking about Leonardo DiCaprio, and when you’ve had an illustrious career such as his, the Oscar thing fades into insignificance.
Today is his 41st birthday, and to celebrate we wanted to highlight his best roles, until we realised how impossible it is to narrow them down. Do you choose the part that landed him his first Oscar nomination; his heart-wrenching roles as a father in Inception and Revolutionary Road; the intense performance in The Basketball Diaries, the smarmy Southerner in Django Unchained; the real-life characters; the literary ones; the shrewd Jack Dawson; tackling Shakespeare, or anything he’s ever done with Martin Scorcese?
It’s by no means an easy task; so instead, we thought we’d give you five more reasons you should love Leonardo DiCaprio:
- He’s an environmentalist
His passion for wildlife, conservation and preventing climate change is no secret, and over the years he’s become just as renowned as an activist, as he is an actor. It may not seem like anything new when it comes to celebrities, but just one glance at his website and social accounts will give you an idea of how involved the actor is in addressing the issues that face our planet.
- He’s never made a sequel to any of his movies
His feature film debut (Critters 3) may have been a sequel, but he’s never appeared in one since. While sequels are not necessarily a bad thing (see: The Godfather Part II, Aliens, Terminator 2), it’s admirable to see a Hollywood actor constantly seek original material, new roles and fresh challenges.
- The King of Nevers
On the subject of never, there are a couple things Leo’s never done. Despite being a wild party animal in Hollywood in his youth, he never did drugs; and even had to consult a drug expert for The Wolf of Wall Street. The second big never is that, while those around him in Tinseltown rack up marriages like a kid does toys in a toy store, Leo has never been married.
- He doesn’t buckle under pressure
As a child, his agent tried to convince Leo to change his name to something more accessible. The name the agent had in mind? Lenny Williams. Thankfully, Leonardo refused; and decades later his “exotic” name is selling movies and driving awareness towards good causes.
- He sticks to his strengths
Speaking of not buckling under pressure, have you ever noticed how little comedy Leo does? He’s also never played a superhero nor made a musical. Why? Because like Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in their heydays, he sticks to his strengths. Leo has even confessed that he can’t sing, and instead of subjecting us to a poor attempt just to tick all the acting boxes, he sticks to his strengths and shines every time.
Watch Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby on M-Net Movies Romance this November.