From a start on the ’80s soap opera “Santa Barbara” to a big honor at this year’s Santa Barbara Film Fest, 39-year-old Hollywood native Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio has shined all the way through his exponentially successful acting career that now includes 5 recent feature collaborations with his favorite director, Martin Scorcese.
Here’s some trivia to ring in the New Year with the Wolf of Wall Street:
He was made for the arts.
DiCaprio is of Russian, German, and Italian descent. He was named Leonardo because when his mother was pregnant with him, she was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy when he first kicked.
He always stood out from the crowd.
In 1992, DiCaprio made his big-screen breakthrough in “This Boy’s Life” alongside Robert De Niro. He landed the lead role hand-selected by Robert De Niro out of 400 young actors. De Niro is one of DiCaprio’s favorite actors.
He’s too good looking to be that talented.
An entrancing performance as Johnny Depp’s mentally disabled younger brother in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993) earned Leo the honor of becoming the seventh youngest actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Director Lasse Halstrom didn’t initially want to cast him for the role because he was too good looking for Halstrom’s original vision of the character. However, DiCaprio proved to be the “most observant” actor who auditioned for the part, and landed it anyway.
He doesn’t take himself too seriously.
DiCaprio made a self-parodying cameo in Woody Allen‘s sardonic 1998 satire of “the industry” titled “Celebrity.” While “Wolf of Wall Street” just set the world record for most uses of the F-word in a single movie (506 times to be exact), this role may have been Leo’s warm-up act.
He’s a fan of PDA.