20 Facts About Leonardo DiCaprio That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of!
Leonardo DiCaprio has been active in Hollywood since the early 90s and was one of the few to transition successfully from childhood acting into an adult acting career without having a total mental breakdown—and hopefully, it stays that way). He was known as a party guy and a ladies man in his youth but is now taking on a more inspirational and environmental activist reputation, and we’re not complaining. Although it may feel like we grew up alongside Leo, there are some things the public doesn’t know about him that we’ve decided to share with you.
He’s not only a successful actor and film producer but, as I mentioned above, he’s also an intense environmental activist. He has done some amazing things promoting a green lifestyle and has plans to continue his eco-friendly legacy—just wait until you see #6! He is a very interesting man that is way more complex than you can imagine and he has lived through some pretty interesting things. His work has not only entertained many of us for years but he has also had some heavy influence on fashion statements around the world (see #7).
Many people know his work, but not many people know Leo, himself, or what makes him tick. We’ve put together a list of twenty amazingly interesting facts about his likes, beliefs, and experiences, that might just make you love him even more. He’s known for living by the words, “If you can do what you do best and be happy, you’re further along in life than most people,” and we think he’s doing just that.
20. His First Movie Role
Contrary to popular belief, Leo’s first role was Josh in Critters 3—not Toby Wolf in This Boy’s Life, which is a common misconception. The movie premiered in 1991 and was about little aliens that menace the town of LA and eat everything in their sights. Young Leo started to get attention from the public after this film and soon started the career he has built today.
19. An Interviewer Actually Called Him Boring
He was once interviewed by TIME magazine and the reporter seemed a little disappointed in the real Leo; giving off the impression that he found it boring that Leo was so into the environmental challenges that face us today. When in fact, many would say that’s what makes him so interesting—the fact that he can name 20 endangered species off the top of his head, not to mention his indecisiveness about what groceries to buy (because, for him, every option seems to have a downside). I think he’s quite the opposite of boring, actually.
18. He’s Never Done Drugs
In February of 2014, Leo was interviewed saying he has never done drugs, despite what his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street might suggest—no, he just might be a really good actor. Although he has admitted that he’s been around drugs since around the age of three or four, his Hollywood experience never included drugs. For his role in TWOWS, he consulted with an on-set drug expert. Co-star Jonah Hill and Dicaprio watched Youtube videos of “The Drunkest Man In The World” to get inspiration for their drunken screen debut.
17. He Went To An Experimental School
When Leo was a child, his parents decided to place him in an experimental and progressive school called The University Elementary School. The time away from his neighborhood and public school is said to have given him the push into acting that he needed. At the time I’m sure he wasn’t too happy about it, but it looks like it was for the best! The school is now known as the UCLA Lab School.
16. How He Got His Name
Leonardo Dicaprio got his name from, you guessed it, his mother. However, how Irmelin Indenbirken named him is quite a touching story. She was walking around a museum, taking in the beauty of a Leonardo Da Vinci painting, when he first kicked. She took it as a sign and the rest is history!
15. The Titanic
Perhaps one of Leo’s most recognized roles is Jack Dawson in The Titanic, as it’s the fifth highest grossing film in Canada and the US. It’s no surprise because the young actor stole the hearts of many young women—and men—all over the world after his steamy and heartbreaking performance. Did you know that 7% of teenage girls in America watched the film TWICE during the opening week? That’s pretty astounding.
14. Fan Fiction For Leo
There is plenty of fanficiton out there nowadays, as people get really into characters—and in this case, the actor. There is much fan-fiction about Leo, himself, including an erotic version of him as the other man in a serious relationship. There’s also one about him finally winning an Oscar yet only having until the end of the day to live; not to mention, there’s even a romcom about him building tree-houses to get away from the paparazzi.
13. Truth Behind Catch Me If You Can
When Leo was working on the set of the 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can he got to meet and converse with the real Frank Abagnale Jr., whom he was playing in the film. The two got along so well that Dicaprio invited the conman to his home! He must be one smooth guy to con his way into the home of one of Hollywood’s most private actors.
Turns out that the first time Leo and Mark Wahlberg met, they hated each other. It was on the set of Basketball Diaries in 1995 when the two were working together and their energies weren’t syncing well. Their mutual respect and friendship came shortly after the men performed one scene together and realized each other’s talent.
11. He Can’t Sing
Although he is an extremely talented actor, he’s not the best singer—and we’re taking those words right out of his mouth. He wanted to take part in the musical Moulin Rouge but decided that his “atrocious” voice wasn’t acceptable. At least he’s humble and knows his strengths and weaknesses, right? We think he would have been great in that film, by the way.
10. He Copes With OCD
The actor has been open about suffering from OCD all of his life, with it being one of the reasons why he connected with the role of playing Howard Hughes in the 2004 film, The Aviator. The actor has said that he has strong urges to walk through doors several times, as well as step on chewing gum stains. Sharing this type of struggle has undoubtedly helped many young kids cope with OCD as well.
9. Entourage Of His Own
Although he’s stated that he’s never done drugs, he has quite the entourage of young Hollywood men around him and he did admit to partying hard in the 90s. His group of friends included magician David Blaine, Toby Maguire, Harmony Korine, and a few more famous names. They notoriously called themselves “The Pu**y Posse” and partied their way through the 90s.
8. A Fun Fact About Leo And Kate
When Kate Winslet met Leo for the first time, knowing that at some point she was going to have to be fully naked in front of him, she decided to break the ice. She didn’t do this by getting to know him or his likes and dislikes; instead, she flashed him (and it totally worked). The two had marvelous on-screen chemistry and they remain close today.
7. His Haircut Was Banned
After all the hit success of The Titanic, every young guy around the world wanted to look like Leo. That bang-in-the front-and-short-in-the-back hairstyle became so popular in “Western cultures” that some countries, not wanting to be associated with it, actually banned the haircut. Afghanistan banned the movie but, that not being enough, members of the Taliban actually enforced arrests to barbers that would give the famous Leo haircut—according to unbelievablefacts.com.
6. Eco Resort Plans
In 2004, Leo bought a 104-acre island off the coast of Belize with big plans to build a resort on it—but not just any resort. The eco-friendly resort is designed to actually restore the over-fished coastline; it will be, in fact, the greenest place to vacation in the world. The goal is to heal the guests while also healing the island and it will have strict guidelines that guests must follow, such as no plastic water bottles.
5. He Sponsors A Young Girl
While on set in South Africa, filming Blood Diamond, he went and visited some nearby orphanages. While there, he fell in love with a little girl and although couldn’t realistically adopt her, due to his lifestyle and career, he sends her anything she needs and makes sure to keep her happy and healthy.
4. Dedicated To The Role
When filming the movie Django Unchained, during an intense scene, he punched his hand down onto the table and sliced it pretty bad. The actor didn’t break character, not even for a second, and the scene made it into the final cut of the film. That takes some real dedication, doesn’t it? That’s not the first time he’s gotten stitches either–he was hit with a broken bottle back in 2005, getting 17 stitches from the attack.
3. A Kind Heart
Kate Winslet and DiCaprio decided to take on the money challenges of Titanic’s last remaining survivor when her nursing home expenses were getting unaffordable. She was ready to sell her Titanic memorabilia but the two actors weren’t having that. They took care of the expenses and hoped that she could rest easy knowing she was well taken care of.
2. A Trip To Space
During a fund raising campaign for the Foundation For Aids Research, a Russian millionaire paid $1.5 million to travel into space with Leo in 2013. The flight is supposed to be about two hours, with four minutes of no gravity. Pretty cool, considering only 500 people have ever toured space.
1. His First Agent Was A No-Go
His first agent wanted to change his name to Lenny Williams! Can you believe it? The worst part about it was the reasoning behind it–the agent thought his name sounded “too ethnic”. Let’s just say we hope she learned a valuable lesson and we’re glad he never made the change.