Leonardo DiCaprio is probably the greatest actors of his generation. He’s rejected the usual superhero films or action franchises and instead has carved out a career with movies such as Romeo + Juliet, Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street and of course – Titanic.
For many years, film fans couldn’t quite believe that he’d never won an Oscar for Best Actor, despite having been nominated several times. In 2016 he finally broke the curse (and the internet) when he won a golden statuette for his outstanding performance as frontiersman Hugh Glass in The Revenant.
However, despite the fact that he’s probably one of the most famous actors in the world, Leo tends to shy away from the limelight.
He rarely does talk shows (except with Ellen DeGeneres) and generally keeps himself to himself. The actor has an Instagram account with over 25 million followers, but mainly uses this to promote environmental causes.
12. His favourite actress is Kate Winslet
Leonardo DiCaprio and his long-time collaborator Kate Winslet have been good friends ever since they starred in Titanic together. In fact, the relationship runs so deep that DiCaprio has admitted he can’t think of a better actress to work with than Winslet.
11. He paid the nursing home fees for the last survivor of the Titanic
Leo is famed for his reputation as a philanthropist and eco-warrior, and his generosity once extended to Millvina Dean, the last living survivor of the Titanic disaster.
In 2009, reports circulated that Dean was having to sell off her memorabilia and other possessions in order to pay her nursing home bills.
10. His first agent wanted him to change his name to ‘Lenny Williams’
It’s generally agreed that Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the coolest and most unique-sounding names in Hollywood.
It’s a testament to Leo’s Southern Italian heritage (his father’s family originally came from Alife, in the province of Caserta near Naples) and rumour has it that the actor even tried to copyright his surname.
9. Vladimir Putin is a big fan of DiCaprio
Vladimir Putin isn’t exactly a massive fan of the West, but there is one Hollywood actor that he never misses watching – Leonardo DiCaprio. Apparently Leo gained the Russian president’s respect after he overcame a horrendous journey to speak at the WWF Tiger Conservation Forum in St. Petersburg.
Leo’s first flight from JFK to Moscow was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after take-off due to an engine malfunction. His replacement flight then had to make an unscheduled stop in Helsinki to refuel after the plane experienced strong winds over the Atlantic.
8. He once had to surrender millions of dollars’ worth of art to the US Government
In 2017, reports circulated that DiCaprio had voluntarily surrendered several pricy works of art and an Oscar statuette once belonging to Marlon Brando to the U.S. Government. He returned the gifts as part of an ongoing investigation into an international money laundering operation connected to the Malaysian PM Najib Razak.
7. His introduction by Tina Fey at the Golden Globes was the most controversial opener in awards history
Normally it’s Ricky Gervais who hits the headlines for his opening lines at the Golden Globes – who can forget the British performer’s hilarious introduction for one notorious Aussie-American actor? “I like a drink as much as the next man…unless the next man, is Mel Gibson!”
However, Tina Fey managed to outdo Gervais when she co-hosted the 2014 Golden Globes with BFF Amy Poehler.
6. He’s appeared in eight films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar
DiCaprio is arguably one of the greatest actors of all time, and when you have star power like he does, it’s bound to rub off onto the film’s production (that’s why he gets paid so much money!).
However, DiCaprio has set a personal record for himself by appearing as the lead actor in a whopping eight films that ended up with nominations for the Best Picture Oscar.
5. He’s a fan of the Brazilian national football team
We had no idea that Leo was a football fan, until grainy photographs emerged of him in 2014 wearing a Brazil flag round his neck. The actor was trying to go incognito at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in São Paolo, but he was soon spotted by eager Brazilians quick to claim Leo as one of their own.
Maybe he’s a fan thanks to his previous relationship with Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen? The pair dated for five years from 2000 to 2005. Even though Leo didn’t stick around to watch any of the live matches, the actor reportedly hosted a viewing party on a $678 million yacht. As you do!
4. His first name has a very interesting story behind it
We’ve already talked about how unique Leonardo’s name is – so where exactly does it come from?
Apparently, when Leo was a baby in his mother Irmelin’s tummy, his parents went to Italy and visited the famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
3. His first ever Oscar win broke the internet
For many years, Leo fans and movie-lovers alike couldn’t quite believe that the actor had never won an Oscar.
He was pipped to the post several times despite being nominated, and at one point it looked like he might never receive a golden statuette for all of his hard work. That all changed in 2016.
2. A remote province in Russia made him his very own Oscar statuette entitled the ‘Yakutian Oscar’
It’s not just Vladimir Putin who loves DiCaprio – there’s an entire Russian province the size of India that has fallen in love with the American actor. In fact, people in the Far Eastern province of Yakutia are such big Leo fans that they’ve even made him their own version of an Oscar statuette!
The so-called ‘Yakutian Oscar’ weighs 1.4 kilograms and is made entirely of silver. The thing that makes it even more special is the fact that people around Yakutia donated their jewellery so that the Oscar could be crafted!
1. He’s the last true American ‘movie star’
Film critics for some of the most respected publications in the world – including Variety, The Economist and The Atlantic – have long been accustomed to singing DiCaprio’s praises. However, many also believe that the actor is one of the last true American ‘movie stars’.
Did you know any of these facts about Leonardo DiCaprio? Let us know in the comments section below!