In countless movies, everyone has swooned over Leonardo DiCaprio’s signature look: blonde hair perfectly in place, glass-like blue eyes, always dressed in nicely fitted suits, plus the added charisma of portraying talented, visionary characters.
But Leo sheds off his pretty boy hero act in The Revenant, his sixth shot at finally taking that Oscar trophy home. Here, he displays a brutal and emotionally intense portrayal of the character of Hugh Glass, who takes on a 200-mile odyssey of revenge and survival.
While his savage anti-hero character is very different from what fans have been accustomed to, several scenes in the movie are reminiscent of his past performances, from Jack Dawson in Titanic to Danny Archer in Blood Diamond. Hey, the man has been gunning for that golden statue for years now—of course he’s accrued a few tricks up his sleeve already.
Here are five of his most iconic scenes from his lengthy filmography that he may have culled from emotionally while shooting for The Revenant:
Leo plays the dashing, but penniless stowaway Jack Dawson who falls in love with Kate Winslet’s wealthy socialite character, Rose DeWitt Bukater. So genuine is Jack’s love for her that he willingly drowns in icy waters to keep her alive when the legendary vessel sinks, even though she could have easily scooted over to save him. (Even Kate admitted to that.)
In The Revenant, Leo beefed up for a little more for insulation because there is no way Jack could’ve survived the negative 25 degree-Celsius weather. Still, seeing a shaking, freezing Leo brings back memories of wanting to embrace him in the warmth of our gangly 14-year-old arms, which is approximately how old many of us were when Titanic came out.
#2 The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
In The Revenant, Leo’s depleting strength after he was attacked by a bear still permits him to crawl for the most part of the two-and-a-half hour film. If that excruciating scene seems familiar, then you might remember his stock broker character Jordan Belfort’s half-paralyzed crawling in The Wolf of Wall Street after a drug overdose.
While it’s not as funny this time around, we can’t help but notice how he’s perfected the artful struggle to regain control of his body, accompanied by aimless grunting. What’s his secret? Did he have a crawling choreographer? Did he rehearse his scenes with his hands tied behind his back? Did he have a crawling coach?
If so, is there a screening process or can we just go ahead and apply?
It’s official: Leo’s characters are the most unlucky widowers—his dead wives keep on haunting him! In The Revenant, Hugh has an ethereal connection to his aboriginal Pawnee wife, and their scenes are mind-boggling, surreal flashbacks that recount love in its truest and most desperate.
But are these scenes really the byproduct of director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s imagination or are they merely inspired by Leo’s perennially heartbroken performance in Inception? Would it be reasonable to expect Leo to be eternally bereaved if any of us had the unique privilege of disappearing from his life by virtue of death?
Playing the explorer Danny Archer, Leo gets himself under the radar of indigenous tribes. As he trenches the uncharted territory of the enemy, he has no choice but to run for survival. On the other hand, in The Revenant, Hugh survives an ambush staged by a tribe of Pawnees in the uncharted wilderness of the American frontier.
Someone should really give all of Leo’s characters an award for staying alive! (Well, with the exception of Jack Dawson.) It’s too bad his wives keep on dying, though.
Leo, we’re very good at staying out of harm’s way and maintaining a steady pulse rate. #justsaying
Like millionaire Jay Gatsby, Hugh Glass does not know how to quit until he gets what he wants. Although driven by different things—Gatsby wanted Daisy, while Glass craved revenge—their superhuman determination was a shared trait of both characters.
But you know what else it reminds us of? Leo’s unrelenting resolve to take home that elusive, god-forsaken Oscar.
Photo courtesy of The Revenant