The Story of How Leonardo DiCaprio Became the Star He Is Today
Leonardo DiCaprio’s famous productions have not only made him a world-famous star but also quite a wealthy one. Between 1995 and 2020, the actor earned $300 million from salaries and project profits alone. And since playing the role of Jack in the hit blockbuster Titanic, DiCaprio has also become one of the biggest heartthrobs in Hollywood. Let’s find out more about his life path and career.
DiCaprio always wanted to become an actor.
His parents noticed that he had a talent for acting because whenever they had guests over, he’d naturally do impressions of them the moment they’d leave. But even though they lived in Hollywood, they were poor, and because he didn’t come from an acting family, it was harder for him to start working in the industry.
His parents, however, who split up before he was even born, managed to keep the environment he grew up in strong, not focusing on the fact that they didn’t have a lot of money. They took him to museums, introduced him to art, read books, and exposed him to different cultures. His mom would drive 2 hours to take him to University Elementary School, and his father would pick him up.
School, though, never became DiCaprio’s thing, as he found it hard to concentrate on things he didn’t want to learn. So every school break and free time he had, he used to do improv and break-dancing skits.
He had his first acting gig at age 5, but, as it seems, it was too early for him.
DiCaprio’s mom managed to get him on the TV Show, Romper Room. However, this experience might not have come at the right time for him, as they couldn’t control his behavior on set. He would smack the camera and jump around to do his little flips and routines.
At a very young age, DiCaprio had to face lots of rejection.
One of the first obstacles DiCaprio had to face was finding an agent. One even suggested changing his name to Lenny Williams, as it would be easier for him to land a job since it would appeal more to the American audience. He even attended 100 auditions without landing a single role.
During one of his auditions, when DiCaprio was about 10 years old, they brought 5 kids in to see their looks and whether or not they would be right for acting. “It felt like we were a row of meat. The lady looked at me and at the other kids, saying, ’Not him, not him, not him. You stay.’ I was one of the ’not him,’” the actor revealed in an interview. “On the way home in the car, I cried and said, ’Dad, I really want to become an actor, but if this is what it’s about, I don’t want to do it.’”
Thankfully, at that moment, his dad was very supportive, and he encouraged him to never give up.
Motivation from his father and the need to financially support his mother made him eager to continue to audition.
When he finally found a talent agent that accepted him, he secured roles in around 20 commercials. In the early 1990s, DiCaprio started acting on television regularly. He started with a role in The Outsiders and a small one in an episode of the soap opera, Santa Barbara. His next role in Parenthood in 1990 improved his career prospects significantly, and that year he earned 2 nominations at the 12th Youth in Film Awards for Best Young Actor in a Daytime Series for Santa Barbara and Best Young Actor Starring in a New Television Series for Parenthood.
He continued acting in movies in different genres, which helped him sharpen his acting skills and become the star he is today.
DiCaprio has picked diverse roles, unlike other actors who only prefer to stick to one niche. “I think actors make the mistake of finding their little niche in the business and once they try to do something a little darker, boom, they get slapped across the face for it, so they go back to what they did before. That’s why the business can be cruel because it doesn’t encourage you to learn,” he revealed.
And while DiCaprio didn’t feel any pressure from the public to prove his talent before, after filming What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? he felt that he had to continue to show off what he could do. And when an interviewer asked him if he was scared he couldn’t act so well, again, he said, “No, I know I can do it. It’s something that’s there. But at the same time, you fight off these other things that you’ve started to hear about yourself and that you’re a lot more conscious of than before.”
Today, DiCaprio is one of the most popular, beloved actors in the world.
Known for his work as a leading man in period films and biopics, DiCaprio has received many accolades, including a British Academy Film Award, an Academy Award, and 3 Golden Globe Awards. As of 2019, his films have grossed over $7.2 billion worldwide, and he’s one of the world’s highest-paid actors.
In a way, DiCaprio is a workaholic, and he always puts his career first.
Because of this, throughout his adult life, DiCaprio has had mixed feelings about whether he should start a family. In one interview, he said that he was too busy focusing on his career to think about starting a family. And he expressed to the public that he doesn’t believe in marriage. But later, he consciously contradicted himself and said that he really wants to get married and have children.
“What I definitely feel a need for is to make my life about more than just my career. Just last night, I was thinking to myself how little of my life has been lived normally and not spent on some far-off movie location,” he revealed. He always felt that a part of him had too many professional plans to even consider starting a family, and the other part of him felt that the idea of having children wasn’t too far-fetched.
“In this business, nothing is as dangerous and as feared as loneliness. You shoot films in the most remote areas of the world, you’re separated from your family and your friends. And at some point, you’re in your hotel room looking at yourself in the mirror and you realize how lonely you are and how far you are from leading a normal life. That is quite a punch in the gut,” DiCaprio shared.
We hope Leonardo DiCaprio finds his happiness, whatever that might be, whether it’s in his career or in starting a family. After learning about what he has to say on the topic, what do you think he wants from life?
Leonardo DiCaprio, a Hollywood stalwart, has had a career filled with intriguing details. From being named after the Renaissance genius, Leonardo da Vinci, due to his mother’s experience in the Uffizi museum, to facing challenges with his unique name in the early days of his career. DiCaprio has also been open about his struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder, showcasing his resilience. His commitment to the environment is evident, as he once bought an island with plans for an eco-friendly resort. His compassionate side shines through as he adopted a South African girl from a distance, supporting her financially. Despite his numerous accolades, he once won a Razzie for “Worst Actor.” His personal life has also been under the spotlight, especially his dating history. Notably, he and Kate Winslet assisted the last living Titanic survivor, ensuring she didn’t have to sell her cherished mementos.
The bond between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, which began on the Titanic, has stood the test of time. Their deep connection was evident when they reunited on screen for the intense drama, “Revolutionary Road.” DiCaprio leveraged their friendship to enhance their performances, with Winslet echoing the sentiment, stating that working with DiCaprio felt special. Their bond is so profound that Winslet candidly remarked that DiCaprio feels more like her husband than her real one, emphasizing the significant impact he’s had on her life.
Kate Winslet’s relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio is a blend of deep friendship and professional respect. Their bond, evident in multiple iconic films, has been a cornerstone for their on-screen chemistry. However, filming intimate scenes for “Revolutionary Road” posed a challenge for Winslet, especially with the film being directed by her then-husband, Sam Mendes. Despite the awkwardness, both actors delivered powerful performances, with DiCaprio seeing their bond as a driving force behind their emotive portrayals.