WHO IS IT? It seems every movie I’ve watched lately with my husband stars Leonardo Dicaprio. We recently watched Shutter Island and the latest adaptation of The Great Gatsby. For Christmas, I’m giving hubby The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort in which Leo stars in the upcoming movie. Hearing that Leo’s performance is Oscar-worthy, I started thinking about his career. If you didn’t already know, he has been acting since childhood and has been nominated for countless awards as an adult. Outside of acting, Leo is a dedicated environmentalist and philanthropist, donating millions of dollars to charity.
WHY I LIKE THIS ACTOR: In his youth, Leo gave me the impression he was only interested in playing intense characters. He didn’t want to appear in any kind of movie where people are normal and normal things happen. I dare say Leo has mellowed a little with age. He’s still picking interesting projects, but has experimented quite successfully with characters, genres and time periods. Directors like Martin Scorsese and Baz Luhrman must love him because he has repeatedly starred in their movies.
FIRST ENCOUNTER: The first movie I saw Leo in was The Basketball Diaries where he played a teenaged heroin addict. He was sixteen at the time and both critics and I were blown away by his talent.
FAVE CLASSIC: I love Leo in the Baz Luhrman adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s hard to describe the ferocity Leo brings to his characters and yet also tenderness and sensitivity, and this stood out so strongly for me in Rome + Juliet. I had a crush on Leo in the early nineties, but his performance as Romeo made me see him as more than a pretty face.
CLASSIC ADAPTATION FILMOGRAPHY
1996 – Romeo + Juliet ~ Romeo
1998 – The Man in the Iron Mask ~ King Louis XIV / Philippe
2008 – Revolutionary Road ~ Frank Wheeler
2013 – The Great Gatsby ~ Jay Gatsby
See Leo’s entire filmography listing at Wikipedia.
GREAT QUOTE: “I remember reading the book in high school and always thinking of Gatsby as this strong, stoic, suave, mysterious man who had everything under control. But when I read it as an adult I realised he is a hollow man, a shell of a person trying to find meaning, who is not completely in touch with reality. He’s a great tragedy and the story’s a great tragedy, too.”
Who are your favourite Celebrities in Classics?