Everyone’s favorite Oscar-less actor Leonardo DiCaprio just broke his losing nomination streak. Having been nominated for many different performances over the years, DiCaprio has finally actually won an award from the Academy, and it was well deserved. He has done a lot more than just be an internet joke for Oscar losses. He is known all over Hollywood for his dedication and crazy research antics for roles. He has had some elaborate and iconic roles, from Titanic to Wolf of Wall Street he has quite the acting range, and quite the talent to match.
He’s done it all, from love interest, to drugged out millionaire, to asylum patient, and the audience loves to watch him. But how many people actually know about the preparation he takes for these roles? The animals, the people, the foods, the stunts, the drugs (or lack there of) involved in getting that priceless screen performance. Here we have listed the most absurd, impressive and crazy things Leonardo DiCaprio has done to embody some of our favorite movie characters. I mean really, how many of us would do the things he does for a job?
10. He spent around seven hours a day in make up
When DiCaprio set out to play J. Edgar Hoover, he not only took a huge pay cut (over $15 million) to play the role, but he also spent a huge chunk of his day in make up. Hoover was not only physically larger than DiCaprio, but he also had different hair and a different face. This resulted in multiple hair pieces, a fat suit, and latex arm pieces. The process took about six or seven hours every day. This however, is not completely unheard of in Hollywood, as many actors spend hours in the make-up chair during different films.
9. He had lube-covered deli meat thrown at his face
During the scene in Wolf of Wall Street, Jonah Hill’s character chokes on a piece of ham and DiCaprio’s character has to save his life. For the scene, they wanted the piece of meat to hit him in the face and stick. They tried throwing regular ham at his face, but it wouldn’t stick. So, instead, they covered it in lubricant and tossed it at his face with a plastic spoon. Eventually, about 70 takes later, it worked how they wanted it to and they got the scene. While not the worst thing you could do for a film, it must not feel great to have lube all over your face.
8. He ate until he threw up
Again pulling from DiCaprio’s role in Wolf of Wall Street, during one of the scenes he is shown eating sushi with Jonah Hill. While Hill was supposed to accept the piece of sushi and eat it, he switched it and told DiCaprio’s character he could eat it instead. This meant that he had to eat the raw fish for that take, and for the sixty-some odd takes after it. He ended up eating so much raw fish that he was throwing up into a trash can by the end of the scene. We can’t imagine DiCaprio was too thrilled about that one.
7. He lived with a man with OCD
For his role in The Aviator, DiCaprio had to understand the mindset and habits of people who live with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, better known as OCD. To study for the role, he lived with a man who had been diagnosed with OCD. He spent several days studying the man’s habits and learning about why he felt he had to do certain things repeatedly or a certain way. While one of the more mild things DiCaprio has done for movie roles, it can still be inconvenient to live someone else’s life for a few days and study their every move and thought.
6. He held an actual lit candle in his actual butt
DiCaprio had to do some elaborate things for his role in Wolf of Wall Street, whether it be snorting vitamins to look like cocaine, eating pounds of sushi, or having lube thrown at his face. His elaborate commitment didn’t just take place with co-star Jonah Hill though. His movie love interest, Margot Robbie, also had something to do with his antics. She encouraged DiCaprio, who didn’t use any body doubles, to hold a candle in his butt cheeks. She told GQ that she simply told him if he was really committed he would do it, and he did. I’m not sure if I feel worse for DiCaprio or the prop man who had to light the candle for him.
5. He hunted with mercenaries
To prepare for his role as an ex-mercenary in Blood Diamond, DiCaprio wanted to understand the real mentality and struggle of soldiers for hire. So, he spent a whole month before filming began in South Africa hunting and practicing military moves with former mercenaries. They spent a month hunting and tracking in the bush and letting DiCaprio study them and copy them. While he was not in any immediate danger, as he was surrounded by trained professionals, I can’t imagine spending a month in the South African bush is fun or comfortable, especially once you realize anyone around you could kill you with their bare hands.
4. He spent time in freezing rivers
During his most recent film, The Revenant, DiCaprio plays a man left to die in the wild. He has to then make his way through the woods, including some frozen rivers and strange survival situations. For filming, he wanted everything to appear as realistic as possible so he actually went in and out of the freezing water. There were no heated lakes, made to look cold, he was actually freezing in the water. DiCaprio told Yahoo Movies that this movie contained “30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things” he had ever done. Sadly, the freezing water wasn’t his biggest sacrifice for the film.
3. He slept inside a dead animal
The Revenant is by far one of the most elaborate film roles DiCaprio has ever had to take part in. He spent months in the wilderness filming the movie, and took part in a lot of risky stunts and activities, including sleeping inside an animal body. While he did not reveal which animal he slept inside of, there were plenty on set that could have done the job. I’m not sure what would be worse here, sleeping in a dead animal and smelling like it for hours or days afterwards, or having to jump into a freezing river to rinse the blood off. Oh, the body. Yeah, the dead body is definitely worse.
2. He worked through the pain
In the movie Django Unchained, DiCaprio’s character gets extremely worked up during a dinner scene. His character slams his hand down on table and shatters a glass, resulting in blood dripping down his hand. The only problem is, the blood was not planned. He had put so much strength into his hand-slam and so much passion into his acting, that he really did shatter the glass and cut his hand severely. DiCaprio stayed in character and the other actors followed. This shot managed to stay in the final cut thanks to his determination and the actual look of horror on his co-workers’ faces.
1. He ate part of an animal raw
DiCaprio has had his moments with food, he ate the sushi and even tried to stuff himself with sweets to gain weight for roles, but the biggest food moment to demonstrate his commitment came yet again from The Revenant. In the film, he is shown eating raw bison liver, and when I say he is shown eating it, I mean it. DiCaprio actually ate the uncooked organ, and the shot made it into the final film. In his interview with Yahoo Movies, DiCaprio described his experience saying, “It says it all. It was an instinctive reaction.” Sounds to me like if he hadn’t gone the acting route, he could have really made a name for himself, and his antics, on perhaps Fear Factor.