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Things Leonardo DiCaprio Has Done for an Oscar

Updated June 14, 2019 6.9k votes 605 voters 74k views21 items

List RulesVote up the Oscar bait stunts you think should have earned Leo an Academy Award.

Remember life before 2016? When each year, as Oscar season rolled around, fans of Leonardo DiCaprio couldn't help but wonder if perhaps it might be the year his latest Oscar-bait role would finally score him a much-deserved Oscar win? Though the dashing Mr. DiCaprio had been nominated for five Academy Awards and eight Screen Actors Guild Awards, the poor guy had to wait till 2016 and The Revenant to take home a single statue. Despite his win, some might still be tempted to write him off as just another teen heartthrob, but one look at some of the things Leonardo DiCaprio has done in movies will prove that’s anything but the case.

Here you'll find a list of crazy, weird, and all-around difficult things Leonardo DiCaprio has done for roles throughout his career. As you’ll see, the actor has taken on a wide variety of characters, ranging from a mentally challenged young man to an eccentric historical figure. You’ll also learn why his character in the The Revenant, was quite possibly the most challenging of his movie roles to date.

So the next time someone tries to suggest that Leo is just another actor who coasts by on his looks, look no further than the following list for a variety of arguments with which to reply. If there was an Oscar for “most suffering undergone for a role,” this is one guy who would win in a landslide.

  • 1

    Stayed in Character Even When He Was Injured During a Shot

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    While filming the dinner scene of Django Unchained, DiCaprio's character delivers a super creepy performance in which he cuts his hand on a glass. Little would you know by watching the scene that the glass mishap wasn't actually scripted and actually resulted in a cut so deep it required stitches. Rather than break character, DiCaprio didn't flinch, but incorporated the accident into a performance so powerful that director Quentin Tarantino used it in the final cut of the film.
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  • 2

    Been a One Take Wonder When He Needed to Be

    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    Though film actors can generally rely on doing another take if they mess up during or aren't happy with a scene, every now and then they'll have to do a scene in which they pretty much only have one shot. Such was the case in Titanic during the scene where the water crashes into the Grand Staircase Room. The cast and crew knew they'd only have one shot at getting the scene on film because the rush of water would destroy the set and all its furnishings. DiCaprio knocked it out of the park.
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  • 3

    Portrayed a Mentally Impaired Young Man Without Resorting to Offensive Stereotypes

    As can be seen in films like Gigli, an non-disabled actor's portrayal of a mentally impaired person can go really wrong really fast. DiCaprio however, was determined not to let that happen when he was cast as a young man with mental impairments in What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

    DiCaprio said that in order to prepare, "I spent a few days at a home for mentally retarded teens. We just talked and I watched their mannerisms. People have these expectations that mentally retarded children are really crazy, but that isn't so. It's refreshing to see them because everything's so new to them."
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  • 4

    Spent Months Enduring Freezing Cold and Possible Hypothermia

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Literally. "[I was] enduring freezing cold and possible hypothermia constantly." DiCaprio said of a few of the more difficult challenges he faced while filming The Revenant.
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