The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper, serving Greater Manchester

Actor Profile: Leonardo DiCaprio

Despite his recent Academy snub, Lloyd Hammett tells us why Leonardo DiCaprio has much to be proud of

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After recently deciding to take a break from acting it is sure to say that Leonardo DiCaprio will leave a hole in cinema like no other. Bursting onto the scene at just nineteen years of age, he received his first Academy Award nomination in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Playing the autistic Arnie Grape, the performance was so convincing that it left many believing he really was autistic. DiCaprio’s third nomination came after the politically aimed Blood Diamond where he masters the South African accent playing the racist user Danny Archer.

The best thing to happen to cinema since the De Niro-Scorsese link is that of the DiCaprio-Scorsese link. Three of the four films they have made together have received Academy Award nominations with The Departed winning. It’s The Aviator where DiCaprio really excels, playing Howard Hughes, extravagant pioneer, but also a man battling with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. Scorsese has said he saw a dark turn in DiCaprio in the film during the scene where he’s sitting naked on a chair in the dark. It’s almost as if he becomes the man he’s looking to emulate and loses himself within these problems.

Having mastered playing autistic, a heroin addict, someone with OCD, someone with dementia and a notorious plantation owner it is clear that DiCaprio is one of, if not the, best actor around. Whilst many, including Tarantino, have recently lamented the lack of Leo on the Academy Award nominations list for Best Supporting Actor in Django Unchained; 2013 is certainly not over yet for DiCaprio. He has The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street left to come out, two films that will no doubt add to his already impressive filmography.