Leonardo DiCaprio

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Leonardo DiCaprio in 2007

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio (born November 11, 1974) is an Academy Award-winning American actor, film director, film producer and screenwriter. He is of German, Italian and Russian descent.


  • I can name 30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. Whether it's going in and out of frozen rivers, or sleeping in animal carcasses, or what I ate on set. (I was) enduring freezing cold and possible hypothermia constantly.
  • There's no other art form in the world that affects me more.
  • I like my name. My parents were in the Uffizi Gallery looking at a Leonardo Da Vinci when my mom felt me kick. That's how I got my name. My parents were real hippies. [1]
  • Drugs? Every one has a choice and I choose not to do drugs. [2]
  • With Romeo and Juliet, you're talking about two people who meet one night, and get married the same night. I believe in love at first sight-but it hasn't happened to me yet. [3]
  • I'm absolutely clean. I've never tried anything. That's not a lie!. [4]
  • I'm not the sort of person who tries to be cool or trendy. I'm definitely an individual. [5]
  • I don't have emotions about a lot of things. I rarely get angry, I rarely cry. I guess I do get excited a lot, but I don't get sad and enormously happy. [6]
  • "You learn after a while that it's not getting your face recognised that's the payoff. It's having your film remembered. [7]
  • I hate speaking in front of a large audience. I don't know where it came from...but its just this gut-wrenching fear of slipping up and doing something horrible. [8]
  • I’ve always kind of made sure to maintain the sense of who I am and never be mean or cruel or snotty to anyone. Because, at the end of the day, it's not going to help you last in the business, and who wants to be around someone like that? I don't want to turn into ‘that guy.’ That guy! [9]
  • My God, no! I hate this whole hunk thing! I feel when I see myself in that, and these other cute faces, that I'm just part of this meat factory, like, 'Wow! Here's the hunk of the month! This month we're shoving Leonardo DiCaprio down your throat! Isn't he cute. Let's put him on the cover and we'll sell so many more magazines...' That's definitely not what I want to be, and I've tried real hard to get away from that whole situation. [10]
  • If you can do what you do best and be happy, you're further along in life than most people. [11]
  • The main thing for me right now is just to live my life with my family and friends. They treat me like Leo, not 'Leonardo, Master Thespian'. That's all I need to keep my sanity. [12]
  • The last thing I want to turn into is a fat Hollywood jerk. I was brought up without much money and I was happy. I don't think that I will strive for money or success and end up greedy or big-headed. That only leads to unhappiness. I can still be down-to-earth and do this job as long as I enjoy it. [13]
  • Don't think for a moment that I'm really like any of the characters I play. That's why it's called acting.[14]
  • It was pretty disheartening to be objectified like that. I wanted to stop acting for a little bit. But it changed my life in a lot of ways, but at the same time, I can't say that it didn't give me opportunities. It made me, for the first time, in control of my career. - On Titanic (1997) [15]
  • One of my passions is to meet people and then imitate them. I love doing that.[16]
  • I have the same problem as Edward Furlong. I'm so thin! [17]
  • "I was behind a woman at the checkout counter who was looking at the magazines. She turned to me and goes, 'There he is again, that Leonardo DiCaprio. Don't you wish he'd just disappear?' I said, this is the moment where I either go, 'Do you know who I am?' or put my hat further down, pay for my corn-nuts and get out of there....I choose to avoid that. (2005) [18]
  • I remember the casting session that I had where I was a break dancer, having this punk hair cut. They rejected me and I became really disillusioned with the business and said well this is what it's all about, and I haven't even got in to read a line. He said don't worry, some day we're going to get you back into this and it's going to happen for you, which I kind of took to heart. It was one of those situations where I was lucky and fortunate enough to be at the right places at the right time. All of a sudden I was on the set of Growing Pains and got this audition for This Boy's Life and was able to jump into the feature film world. It's really been just simply the fact that I'd been able to work, you know what I mean? I would probably still be trying to be an actor even if I was out of work, but I would probably become a little disillusioned at some point and move on to other things. But it's the one thing that I know that I love. [19]
  • I'm shy, but when the time comes to be wild, I'm fun-loving, adventurous, and mysterious. [20]
  • On his career: "I admit I've done a few lousy roles in the beginning of my career, like my role in Critters 3 (1991). But at that age, you'll do anything for attention![21]
  • All I know is that when you make a movie it's something you have to live with forever. It's not a job I take lightly. [22]
  • And I love doing what I'm doing and I'd get out of it if I hated it that much. I've said it many times before: There are much worse problems in the world, people dealing with things that are phenomenally more complicated.[23]
  • My mom and I lived at Hollywood and Western, a drug-dealer and prostitute corner. It was pretty terrifying. I got beat up a lot. I saw people have sex in the alleys. I remember I was five years old, and this guy with a trench coat, needles and crack cornered me. Early on, seeing the devastation on my block, seeing heroin addicts, made me think twice about ever getting involved in drugs. It's evil. Once you take that step and experiment, drugs can take over your life. You are not yourself anymore. That's something I never wanted. I didn't have a lot of friends growing up. It was kind of just me and my parents. But because of them, the neighborhood did not have a bad effect on me. My dad introduced me to artists, and every few months we'd go to some hippie doo-dah parade as Mudmen in our underwear, carrying sticks and covered in mud. My mother did everything to get me into the best schools she could find. [24]
  • When I was young, I used to have this thing where I wanted to see everything. I used to think, 'How can I die without seeing every inch of this world?'[25]
  • I don't have the guts that Romeo did. [on marriage] [26]
  • Dark green is my favorite color. It's the color of nature and the color of money and the color of moss! [27]
  • Certainly after Titanic, where my face was put on every magazine cover around the world and the movie was such a phenomenon, I really had no control over that. So for the last couple of years, media-wise I've been trying to regain some control in what people say about me. [28]
  • The challenge is to understand the psyche of somebody like that. There is no true genius or revolutionary ideas, I don’t think, without some element of compulsiveness or madness or obsession, and that’s certainly indicative of Howard Hughes. Understanding his obsessive-compulsive disorder was really the key for me for opening up who this man was. [29]
  • I think it’s a real danger, as an actor, when you try to make some statement through your career about what the business should be doing or ultimately what your image should be or how you want to be perceived. I look at every project that comes along and say, “Is this something I can sink my teeth into and can do a good job on?” That’s really how I choose roles. [30]
  • As a little kid growing up in Hollywood, I was called 'a little crazy'. And now I guess I'm still that way. [31]
  • The fact that Romeo is dopey, lovey-dovey, and it's a corny story. And I was afraid I'd look like a fuffy. [32]
  • A lot of actors ask me “what do you do? How do you get into the business?” My only answer is don’t be discouraged. … You have to commit your life to it, almost, and never give up. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. [33]
  • "I wasn't surprised that Jamie got the award. But I knew that cameras would be stuffed up my face so I had my response ready. Anyone who says they don't practice is a liar." -on losing out on the Oscar to Jamie Foxx during the 2005 Academy Awards.
  • On turning 30: "I kind of feel like the same person except more time has gone by. I hate to say that I feel like an adult now. I have to admit I wish I was still 18. After all, even through the time while I was representing that wild kid, I really wasn't. I was just living my life. I was just not making movies at the time.[34]
  • On Martin Scorsese: Martin has brought so much to the art form of film, and he is not the type of person who would be upset by not receiving an Oscar, although it is a practical joke that he has not won an Academy Award after all these years. Whatever opinions critics will have of The Aviator, I really think that this is a great piece of art: once again, he has made a great classic film.[35]
  • I like to help the whales, the otters, and the dolphins. When I`m acting and I take a break, the first thing on my list is spending time by the sea.
  • I lived in Hollywood and, ironically, I didn't know you could just go out and get an agent and go on auditions and try and become an actor, I thought it was like a Masonic thing, like a blood line you had to belong to - until I was 13. Then I realised what you had to do. It is the one thing I know I want to do for the rest of my life. [36]
  • As an actor, you're constantly searching for that great character. Also, being a history buff and learning about people in our past and amazing things that they've done, I came across a book about Howard Hughes and he was set up as basically, the most multi-dimensional character I could ever come across. Often, people have tried to define him in biographies, but no one seems to be able to categorize him. [37]
  • On rumors: I've heard some pretty bad rumors...that I'm gay. If I want to go to a party with a few male friends, it doesn't mean that I'm gay. I don't see why I can't have friends of both sexes without rumors being spread about me. It's crazy. [38]
  • If you hear of any incident about me - a fight, a change of clothes, a little extra gel in the hair, don't believe it till you talk to me. [39]
  • Well it's a risk to do a movie of this calibre on a subject matter and a point in history people are not very familiar with. It's a tough subject to sell - so salary-wise you have to make sacrifices to make a certain film happen. I would have been an idiot to pass up the opportunity to work with Mr Scorsese. [40]
  • I’ve been in the business since I was 16, so I’ve had a 14-year career. I’ve always had acting in my blood. Doing this, whatever it is, was something I was drawn to since my earliest memories. Ironically, I lived in Hollywood, but never understood that all it took was getting an agent and being persistent. [41]
  • On whether there are any aspects of fame he dislikes: You kidding? I feel very fortunate. A lot of people would love to be in my position. There are so many people out there who are suffering trillions of times more than I could ever suffer, and would love to be me. I am a lucky little bastard.
  • Everywhere I go, somebody is staring at me. I don`t know if people are staring because they recognize me or because they think I`m a weirdo.
  • I'm probably not going to get married unless I live with somebody for 10 or 20 years. But these people (Romeo and Juliet) took a chance and they did it. We don't have the balls that Romeo did.[42]
  • The best thing about acting is that I get to lose myself in another character and actually get paid for it. It`s a great outlet. As for myself, I`m not sure who I am. It seems that I change every day.
  • Being dubbed as a hunk sort of annoys me. It gives me a yucky feeling.[43]
  • I got attention by being funny at school, pretending to be retarded, and jumping around with a deformed hand.[44]
  • School, I never truly got the knack of. I could never focus on things I didn't want to learn.[45]
  • I prefer ordinary girls - you know, college students, waitresses, that sort of thing. Most of the girls I go out with are just good friends. Just because I go out to the cinema with a girl, it doesn't mean we are dating.[46]
  • On working with Martin Scorsese in Gangs of New York (2002): "He's a perfectionist, obsessed with detail. That's why he went over budget and over schedule. [47]
  • I don't really have many extravagances. I don't fly private jets and I don't have bodyguards and I don't buy crazy things. I have a couple of houses here and there. I bought a very expensive watch, and I am going to buy a really expensive movie poster, the original for The Thief of Bagdad (1940). I love movie posters.[48]
  • A consensus has emerged in our scientific community that global warming is no longer merely a theory but a reality, a crisis with truly global implications for planet Earth and all of us who share it. - Told to thousands at the New Jersey concert for Live Earth
  • There are pros and cons to everything. To be able to do what I do and what I love on this level is a very positive thing. There are certain invasions of privacy, but I hate sitting around complaining about it, I just don't like to hear it come out of my mouth. I'm a very fortunate person being able to do what I do.
    • about the downsides of fame[[49]]
  • "People want you to be a crazy, out-of-control teen brat. They want you miserable, just like them. They don't want heroes; what they want is to see you fall.


  • Brothers don`t necessarily have to say anything to each other-they can sit in a room and be together and just be completely comfortable with each other.
  • Love at first sight? I absolutely believe in it! You`ve got to keep the faith. Who doesn`t like the idea that you could see someone tomorrow and she could be the love of your life? It`s very romantic.
  • Yes, I can play younger than my age. But I can play characters older than I am, too. I`m not an actor who can just play the kid.
  • People always like to make up stories. I am not planning on getting married. Then again, I might wake up tomorrow and decide to get married!
  • I insist on keeping a level head. I`ve maintained the same exact home life that I`ve had for 20 years. All I see is more people looking at me than before. But, you know, who cares? You just can`t obsess yourself with this fame stuff.
  • I've been very lucky to have achieved a lot of the things that I dreamt of achieving as a young man. But, at the end of the day – and I truly believe this – it is not about achieving great wealth or success. Because they don't bring happiness ultimately. They really don't. What matters is whether or not you've fulfilled the idea of having led an interesting life, whether you've contributed in some way to the world around you.


  • As an Academy member, you're not allowed to endorse somebody else when they're up for an Academy Award and if you do, there's a good chance you'll lose your membership. But I have to tell you Leo DiCaprio is so amazing in The Revenant
  • We were peers, I think. Leo's an incredibly intelligent guy who's been through a great amount of life experience over the course of the last few years. He's very dedicated and I think he had a very good idea of what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it.
  • He reminds me of that excitement when De Niro and I stumbled upon a way of working together - a similar kind of energy to the actors in the 1970s. It’s very rare for me to find that kind of connection again. Leo will give me the emotion where I least expect it and could only hope for it about three or four scenes. And he can do it take after take."
    • Martin Scorsese [52]
  • You know, I worked with Leonardo when he was 18 [on The Quick and the Dead]. He was a virgin, and he would talk about that constantly. So I'm hoping we have some time so he can fill in what's happened in between. Maybe show some photos. Because I'm sure life's different now.
- Russell Crowe (EW November 2, 2007)
  • DiCaprio is both a famous actor and perhaps the world’s best-known climate activist. He doesn’t speak on the subject of carbon emissions so much as he preaches. “Humans have put our entire existence into jeopardy,” DiCaprio thunders. Climate change is “the most urgent threat facing our entire species.” Those who question climate policy, he declares, should be banned from public office. “The scientific consensus is in, and the argument is now over.” Few preachers live up to the standards they set from the pulpit, and DiCaprio is no exception. In the summer of 2016, DiCaprio was scheduled to receive an award from the environmental group Riverkeeper. He was in Cannes attending the film festival at the time, so he chartered a private jet to fly from France to New York and back. That’s an eight-thousand-mile round-trip, which in addition to being physically exhausting, amounts to a gargantuan carbon footprint, bigger than the average African might emit in a lifetime. For DiCaprio, it was just another Cannes Film Festival. The year before, he was photographed off the coast of France meandering alone on the deck of a 450-foot, $200 million yacht, which he’d rented as an accommodation for the week. Once again, a lot of carbon.
    • Tucker Carlson, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (2018)
  • "His two eyes are different," says Lasse Hallstrom, who directed Leo in what may be his best movie, What's Eating Gilbert Grape. "The left eye is very soft and empathetic. The right eye is more analyzing. One eye oozes warmth, while the other is more penetrating. One eye is psyche, the other is intellect."
- Danny Boyle (The Face, February 2000)
  • He's probably the world's most beautiful-looking man, yet he doesn't think that he's gorgeous. And to me, he's just smelly, farty Leo.
- Kate Winslet (Vanity Fair, January 1998)
  • With those eyes and his intellect, I see no real limit to his potential.
- Lasse Hallström (USA Today, April 19, 1995)
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