Leo's full bag of tricks

December 17, 2015 16:32:00 Posted at December 17, 2015 16:32:00
Joanna Posted by Joanna
Jeffrey Mayer /Albert L. Ortega /Steve Granitz /Frazer Harrison /Getty Images

The Revenant's not yet out but are you over Leonardo DiCaprio's hemming and hawing about eating raw bison liver, having his eyelids frozen shut or the incomparable sacrifices he reportedly made while filming? It's his finest "art." Just ask him. Because he will tell you. Repeatedly. And now he’s involving his mother. 

In a red carpet interview with Entertainment Tonight, Leo talks about the sweet relief he felt once he shaved his beard — that enormous monstrosity of neo-hipster survivalist facial hair — after shooting finally wrapped. He tells the reporter, with a sly smirk, that he "had that beard for a year and a half," and compares the experience to, "shaving dreads or something." Of course, he reiterates that it was worth it for the "epic journey" he went on with the crew to create the "unforgettable" movie.

Then, he's asked about his regular red carpet plus one and mom, Irmelin. She apparently joined him on-set, but says "she wasn't there long enough" to help him through the arduous times of the shoot, likely because "she only came for a week at the good times" and "we were there for nine months." But still, he gave her a nice shout-out for supporting his, again, art. Oh and he nearly smiled, too!

Yesterday, The Revenant missed out on being named one of AFI's Top 10 films of the year. The Hollywood Reporter's Oscar analyst Scott Feinberg speculates it was Star Wars: The Force Awakens that bumped it out of contention. Leo has stated, again and again, that this film was a group effort and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's epic vision. He wants the top-tier awards recognition badly, but he wants the movie to go home with accolades too. This is part of the reason why his hardships are always being discussed, but then are related back to being a communal experience and commitment.

Leo's not wrong, though. As thin as the script may be, The Revenant is a piece of art. Visually, it's a knockout. But his performance? It's tremendously impressive, though let's just say I can list at least three other films on his resume that were more memorable, even without Catch Me If You Can. The Revenant is definitely worth seeing, but just as Lainey wrote yesterday, it should be rebranded as The Struggle. And The Struggle is so real that at one point in the movie, you just start laughing because you've seen Leo put through the ringer for too long, and you need to exhale. Maybe Leo feels the same way.

So with this Top 10 snub and probable Leo narrative fatigue, I don’t think it’s coincidence that he has become more willing to play or, at least show some semblance of non-method actor personality. Could this be the beginning of the public's introduction to a more well-rounded Leo, who doesn't skulk in corners, hover around Art Basel, or craft a mysterious persona in an effort to have his work, and just his work, speak for itself?

He's more interesting than that. Martin Scorsese says he collects dinosaur bones. There's at least one talk show story there, isn't there? Would it kill him to dish it all on Howard Stern, the way his friend Bradley Cooper kind of does once or twice a year? It worked for Bradley before... all three (and technically four) times. But that was a nomination. Leo's playing to win. And it actually might kill him if Howard asked about which model was the best sex.

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