For most part of his life, he has been an actor. And an actor par excellence. He immersed himself into an array of crafty roles that curtailed the magnanimous divide between the ordinary and extraordinary. This fetched him god’s great glory that he has worked abundantly hard for and yet, at the same time, gave us fans and those filmmakers and career smashers and makers in Hollywood’s dizzying heights- consistent run ins with what they call “sublime”. Sublime, in this young man’s life isn’t a virtue, it is a skill you master with pristine hard work.
At 41 and gladly just in his early 40s with at least two more decades of uplifting acting let in him, perhaps Hollywood’s finest contemporary actor and one who shrugs the tag of a star has sincerely moved toward newer hitherto unexplored layers to his life.
He’s turned a Producer and has made giant noble strides into social work, traversing global boundaries whilst taking up important initiatives toward Water Conservation, generating awareness about global epidemics concerning water calamity and contamination and has even marched toward the all important issue of the 21st century; Global Warming.
He’s hip with a fan base that extends beyond the United States and gives his own enchanting take to the phrase happening. His talent borders on the sharpest contours of the most intelligent minds that you have in a Hollywood forever complexed by the fear of being touched by mediocrity. He doesn’t literally choose his films. Films are made for accommodating his giant acting envelope and it won’t be a dreaded “inception” to call him a “Titanic” sized acting talent, the best in his league and a parallel to the likes of Will Smith, Tom Hanks and even, Al Pacino.
Marked for greatness
In Leonardo Di Caprio’s cinematic triumphs lies Hollywood’s glory of reinventing itself. Starting out as a romantic star and a slack albeit peppy and somewhat confused and funny teenager in memorable films such as The Basketball Diaries ( as Jim Carroll, 1995), Poison Ivy (1992) and his most remarkable act then in the early 90s in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, Leonardo burst on the acting scene essaying demanding roles whilst he was way too young to echo silently moving performances than one would otherwise expect an actor with at least 10 films under his belt.
As the adorable younger brother Arnie Grape, Leonardo’s charmingly soft and cute portrayal alongside the elder brother act essayed by none other than Johnny Depp, easily an all time acting legend – left movie goers wanting gasping for their breath. It was certain that the kid with light eyes was destined for greatness in times to come. Many said he always had it in him to aim for greater glories but that isn’t the complete truth. Anyone can become a star, but the ability to persist despite failures is what makes you special.
In the glitzy verve of cool in a Hollywood that charms stars with the lust for fame, it takes a man among boys who treads the path less taken to emerge with triumph having stuck with a serious craft of roles instead of personifying the needless shenanigans we see today’s starry eyed youngsters hogging to.
A powerhouse performer
It isn’t too amusing or ironical to note that Leo, as he is fondly called was actually born in Hollywood, California, the very industry he has come to rule. And with some awe and dash of style. Respected by his contemporaries such as Matt Damon, inarguably the best acting star alongside Leo if not preceding him in terms of the number of box office gunslingers that the “Django Unchained” star has delivered time and again, Di Caprio is respected and adulated even by actors several years his senior.
Al Pacino recently stated that Leo is the finest current screen actor. The ever modest Tom Hanks, who considers himself “lucky” to have starred alongside Di Caprio in the famous dramatic personification of American conman Frank Abagnale Jr.’s life in “Catch Me If You Can” (2002) states that he is a warm and loving human being, no stranger to controversies and never isolated by massive fan following. Kate Winslet surely wouldn’t mind being drawn by Leo, if given a chance and provided hubby, Sam Mendes doesn’t ask agent 007 to hunt our charming star down. Ex-flames such as supermodel Gisele Bundchen would be lying if she says she’s had enough of Leonardo Di Caprio! Stalwarts such as Martin Scorsese who made Shutter Island, especially keeping Leo in mind feel they should collaborate more frequently with the A list actor.
Deconstructing Leo’s ultra sassy and ruggedly uber cool charisma
What has been the reason for Leonardo’s tumultuous success? What has inspired him to take up roles which other’s definitely don’t feel cut out for? How does he immerse himself so deeply amidst a challenging array of roles that others would have to battle hard to sink deep with?
From the outset, Leonardo, the Hollywood born charisma raking in all the fun that news headlines from Hollywood’s gloss unabashedly shower him with- may seem like an everyday happy go lucky person. But when you stare deep into those penetrating light blue eyes, you bump into a completely different man that the veneer and charming exterior of his god given looks hide! Those deep eyes that sashay layers of mysteriously over-powering gullibility speak of an actor driven to pursue his muse (acting) with this renowned madness that comes out alive every-time Leonardo the performer steps on to the stage and inside the skin of the character he is tasked to portray. He’s also known to be a man of candid intensity and sharp wit.
Never afraid to take a joke on himself and there were one too many when he yet again lost out on an Oscar last year, not the first time that the mega award eluded the star actor who has otherwise bagged 34 iconic awards internationally( including 8 Screen Guild Actor awards, 9 Teen Choice awards and 3 MTV Movie awards) and as many as 136 nominations, including 5 Academy Award nominations and 10 Golden Globe Awards.
The greatness and legacy of a versatile mega star
We saw the overpowering charming Leonardo in Titanic who masked his seriousness with teenage angst and excitement as he saved Rose(Kate Winslet) from jumping of the ship.
In his most underrated role till date in 2008’s Revolutionary Road (directed by Sam Mendes), he showcased a hypnotic cavalcade of angst, temper, love and pain as only he could in his bittersweet portrayal of Frank Wheeler in a conservative yet ambitious America of the 1950s. In J Edgar Hoover (based on the wacky and goofy life of famous FBI Director of the same name), Clint Eastwood’s most ambitious biopic drama based on one of the most mischievous Cloak and Dagger icons of his time, Leonardo went a bit too far, in the sense of literally living out J Edgar for a sublime two and a half hour long Tour-de-force portrayal on the screen. But, the greatness and grandness of Leonardo’s craft doesn’t end here. He can slip tacitly under the shiny skin of lighter and cocky avatars in split seconds. He showed his finest charismatic personification of roles in a lighter vein in films such as “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2014, Martin Scorsese). He further indulged in a stylishly slick albeit narcissistic role play of the famous fictional character penned by literary icon F. Scott Fitzgerald, in Baz Luhrman’s 2013 smash hit, The Great Gatsby.
No other actor can juggle between serious, intense, narcissistic and pathologically destructive roles with charismatic ease as Leo. His is quite literally a star studded galaxy in a Hollywood parading on massive creative experimentations and improvisations and quite is frankly the mightiest comet to have gravitated toward earth, one bludgeoning with contained refinement and an ecstatic verve of cool every time he leapfrogs his own self with another handy performance on big screen marked with Signature Leo Di Caprio style and intelligence.
What remains to be seen is that if Leo, who is also a producer can sift the conventional boundaries of acting to sit atop a screen-writer’s seat? Or, if he can direct a Broadway Play? Will we see him coming out live with a series of ‘webisodes’ narrating iconic movie actors in a Hollywood that has never shied from producing tens and hundreds of acting giants or will Leonardo go globe-trotting on a mission to open a “Leonardo Di Caprio” academy of acting, whose principal, teacher, star presence and distinguished alumni will be the 41 year old stylish Hollywood icon himself! Go on, surprise us more Leo. More power to you.