For some actors, just looking the part is never enough and they choose to go to extreme lengths to fully immerse themselves into a character. From Christian Bale and Daniel Day-Lewis, to Robert De Niro, Natalie Portman and Jared Leto, it's not unknown for actors to put themselves in danger for the sake of their art.
And it now seems that Leonardo DiCaprio has also joined the foray of leading men and women who have taken method acting to the extreme. With the niggling thought of the upcoming Oscar nominations in mind, here are three instances when Leo merged reality with being in front of the camera:
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
To bring the hedonism of Wall Street to life, as a substitute for actual coke snorting and pill popping in The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill inhaled vitamin D powder.
Unfortunately, the practice turned out to be far from safe -- Jonah even admitted to giving himself bronchitis from snorting too much of the white stuff. He said:
"I snorted so much of that stuff that I got, like, bronchitis! My lungs were filled with powder and I got really sick for a month and a half. [...] I mean, I'd do it again in a second. The first time you snort fake cocaine in a Scorsese movie you feel like ... I don't know! I got embarrassed because I said that it's every actor's dream. I guess it's not, but to me, it's a pretty iconic thing to do."
I guess if you want to do the time period justice, you just gotta damage your respiratory system.
2. Django Unchained
As plantation owner Calvin Candie, Leo had to bring a hateful and racist character to the big screen.
Not only did Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx help him get to grips with saying the 'n' word comfortably, but in one particular scene, he got so carried away in the role that he sliced him hand open and bled everywhere without breaking character.
Here's the moment it happened:
3. The Revenant
In his upcoming movie, Leo suffers for his art like no other, by personally surviving a "living hell." According to the actor, in spending nine months in freezing cold Canada and Argentina, alongside curling up inside the carcass of a dead animal, he also ate bison liver during the filming. He said:
“I can name 30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. Whether it’s going in and out of frozen rivers, or sleeping in animal carcasses, or what I ate on set. [I was] enduring freezing cold and possible hypothermia constantly.”
The actor continued:
"I certainly don’t eat raw bison liver on a regular basis. When you see the movie, you’ll see my reaction to it, because Alejandro kept it in. It says it all. It was an instinctive reaction."
It's pretty hardcore eating bison liver in the first place, even more so when one is a vegetarian.
Here's the trailer:
Oscar-worthy? I think so!