Leonardo DiCaprio, AKA the biggest movie star in the world, got his humble small screen start with bit parts on popular '90s TV shows such as Roseanne. The dreamy actor hit the cover of Teen Beat after he scored the recurring role of homeless teenager Luke Brower on the final season of the sitcom Growing Pains.
DiCaprio went on to have one of the most successful silver screen careers of any Gen X actor, with star-making roles in What's Eating Gilbert Grape and The Basketball Diaries. In 1997, DiCaprio reached the apex of fame when he starred as the tragic Jack Dawson in 1997's Titanic.
The Academy Award-winning actor has repeatedly shown an ability to play complex big-screen heroes. However, leave it up to rule-breaker extraordinaire Quentin Tarantino to turn DiCaprio into a meme-inspiring, vile villain. DiCaprio played sadistic plantation owner Calvin Candie in the auteur's pre-Civil War era western Django Unchained.
Candie is beyond wicked and seems incapable of showing even a lick of mercy. In fact, Candie was so horrific that DiCaprio wondered after reading Tarantino's script, "Are we going too far?"
However, "too far" isn't in Tarantino's vocabulary.
"He's the most deplorable human being I've ever read in a screenplay in my life," DiCaprio added. "He was rotting from the inside. He was, you know, a young Louis the XIV that had been brought into a world of entitlement and lived his life... essentially owning other people."
DiCaprio elevates Candie to more than a cartoon villain, which he could have become in the hands of a less-skilled thespian. The fact that audiences can buy the usually-heroic actor as such a heinous villain speaks to DiCaprio's range as an exceptional actor.