If any of you know me, then you will understand just how much I love this man. I am honestly surprised it has taken me this long to write a tribute to him.
Leonardo Dicaprio has been firmly on my radar since the release of Titanic, however that was only ever because of his boyish charm and good looks. It took me until I was about 19 (2years ago) to truly see this man in a different light. Although I must admit that he has aged very gracefully, the reason he is now firmly on my radar is due to the immense talent he possesses.
There can be no doubt that Dicaprio is one of this generations finest actors. By tracking his filmography you can see the amazing talent he had at such a young age and how from there he has grown from strength to strength. Although he made many appearances throughout his teen years, his first most notable performance would have to be his portrayal of Tobias Wolf in This Boy's Life. Working alongside one of Hollywood's most established actors, Robert De Niro, there is no doubt that Dicaprio had to act his ass off in order to help carry the film, a challenge that he was more than ready to accept and conquer.
After having the honour of starring alongside such a great, Dicaprio succeeded in doing so again a year later, with Johnny Depp in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Although I have a firm hatred for Juliette Lewis, there is still no doubt that working alongside established actors as such must have been an intimidating prospect. Dicaprio's portrayal of an autistic boy Arnie was however exceptionally good and is without a doubt one of my favourite performances of his. His stellar talents were not gone unnoticed as the Oscar season saw him nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. A nomination he undoubtedly deserved.
Although after this Dicaprio added some more great roles to his repertoire including the desriable Romeo in Lurhamann's Romeo and Juliet, and working alongside Meryl Streep in Marvin's Room, it was Titanic that gained him the attention of the rest of the world.
Dicaprio embodied everything that we want from a romantic hero. He possessed the right look, the right physique and combined it together with the right amount of charm. Although Kate Winslet's performance was stunning, there is no question that for every girl watching, Dicaprio stole the show for them - creating an instant, intensifying amount of lust. As well as holding a firm place on bedroom walls, Dicaprio had firmly asserted himself in Hollywood.
After working with the amazing Danny Boyle in 2000 for The Beach, Dicaprio followed in De Niro's footsteps and signed up for his first collaboration with Martin Scorsese. Gangs of New York is everything you would expect from a Scorsese film and almost as far away from Titanic as you can get. Dicaprio showed he was willing to embrace a new direction, much similar to Depp when he decided to collaborate with Tim Burton. Proving he was versatile and capable of tackling more diverse roles, Scorsese has kept a close relationship with the actor teaming up with him on later projects including The Aviator, Best Picture winner The Departed and more recently Shutter Island. All of which hit box office success and let Leo prove to the public why he deserves to be as highly regarded as he is today.
Edward Zwicks 2006 film Blood Diamond pushed Leo in the direction of the Oscar buzz again. It is impossible to believe that anyone who has seen him in this can deny how phenomenal he is in it. Sadly, up against a lot of amazing competition, Dicaprio was left yet again without the Oscar he truly deserves. However it is a very safe and likely assertion to assume that with his career flying even higher than before and continuing to soar, he will one day get his Oscar.
Not only did 2010 see Leo dominate in Shutter Island, but it also saw him star amongst a phenomenal cast of talented young actors in Christopher Nolan's massive summer mind-fuck-of-a-blockbuster Inception. The public reception that Inception received was hugely positive. There is no doubt that Dicaprio is very wise when making the choices that is right for his career. He works alongside very respectable members of Hollywood thus only enabling him to move further forwards rather than heading in reverse. Every decision Dicaprio makes enhances his career and judging by the calibre of directors he's worked with, he is obviously a highly regarded and valued actor in Hollywood.
What's next for Leo?
He is heavily rumoured as the villain in Tarantino's new flick. Working alongside Tarantino seems like another smart move for Dicaprio. I am very excited about seeing how he will tackle this new style and adapt to role.
What would I like from Leo?
Aside from marriage and beautiful children, I would love to see him collaborate with Darren Aronofsky. Dicaprio is amazing at portraying an unstable psychological state of mind. He blew me away in The Aviator doing such and there is no doubt that the artful direction Aronofsky gives would heavily compliment Dicaprio's acting style. But whatever he does, I have every confidence that he will not disappoint. He is a true great and has contributed masses to the film industry. I look forward to his AFI lifetime acheivement award which in another twenty years he will undoubtedly deserve.