ByKai Nova Jackson, writer at Creators.co
Endure and Survive..
Kai Nova Jackson

Coming a long way from little Arnie Grape, to romantic Romeo, a delusional marshal , a famous aviator ,a undercover cop, a seasonal slaver, a thief, a Gatsby to a famous stockbroker, landing as a legendary explorer, Leo finds himself, once again, caught in another viciously competitive running towards the Golden Globes and most likely the Oscars. As if its surprising.

Academy Flashbacks

While Leo's performances have received repetitive recognition, as it shows in his share of nominations for best actor, earning an Oscar still remains an open gap in Leo's career. Despite how close he comes to earning an Oscar, there have been perhaps too many times where Leo has found himself being out shined by his co-star nominees as one outside source has pointed out:

Titanic: Kate Winslet

Gangs Of New York: Day Lewis

Catch Me If U Can: Hanks

Departed: Whalberg, Nicholson

Revolutionary Rd: Shannon

Shutter Island: Elias Koteas

Inception: Tom Hardy

Django Unchained: Waltz

The Wolf on Wall Street: Jonah Hill

In my opinion he already should have won an oscar for this role in "Django Unchained" but his role in "The Wolf of Wall Street" was even better. - Anonymous

Yes, its been about a year since, Leo's Jordan Belfort performance was over shadowed by Matthew McConaughey's in "Dallas Buyers Club". But that year is behind us now. And it seems Leo has used those years as his motivation during those 9 months doing his toughest role yet in "Revenant".

The REVENANT

This year, as most of you should know already, Leo stars in Revenant which is nominated for BEST PICTURE-Drama at the Golden Globes. Leo portrays a legendary explorer caught in the treacherous, painfully cold depth of the wilderness who seeks to avenge his son after being left for dead. And thus finds himself fighting through blood and agony for revenge:

Putting aside the already given mixed reviews of the Golden Globe nominated picture, Leo's efforts have proved quite a challenge to overlook.

Its an imposing vision, to be sure, but also an inflated and emotionally stunted one, despite an anchoring performance of ferocious 200% commitment from Leonardo DiCaprio.
Justin Chang·Variety

The BRUTAL Role( 9 Months of Hell)

Its never easy to spend hours of shooting in blistering -30 degree weather. Especially if its in the wilderness. Leo learned that the hard way. But it is challenging roles like these that. But brutal roles like these are costly.

"We all knew what we were signing up for, we were submerging ourselves in the elements and on locations that were logistically very difficult to get to, the weather was a constant challenge and we were working in sub-zero temperatures." - DiCaprio

There's not a single ounce of doubt when Leo told reporters, this was the "toughest role" of his career. In this case, being submerged in frozen rivers, sleeping in animal carcasses, having to routinely be up before sunrise, and facing freezing temperatures seems to define that title. Not to mention facing constant hypothermia and the flu. But this role will mark a highlight in Leo's career. Regardless if it wins him an Oscar or not.

-An Oscar Worthy Liver Munch

I am sure I'm not the first for you to hear from about Leo's Bison liver story. Despite how bizarre it may sound to devour an actual raw Bison liver on set, its actually one of Leo's clever methods in adding truth to a scene and making it more realistic. This perhaps explains why he passed over the option of eating a jelly version for the camera. And it seems the word spread quite fast. In fact, this story is so universal, you can even type the words "Bison Liver" in Google's image search engine, and Leo's face appears everywhere.

A Look Back at Leo's Moments

Django: Unchained

While Leo's method may surprise most of us, this is wouldn't be the only time we have seen this. If you've watched Django: Unchained, you would remember Leo's frighting negotiating scene when he smears his bloody hand all over Kerry Washington's face (Hildy), after finding out that the two bounty hunters didn't come to buy his fighters. . Check out the scene here:

Leo actually injures his hand after slamming the table which had scattered pieces of broken glass laying over. Since Leo payed almost doesn't acknowledge the blood streaming his hand Tarantino went with it. Perhaps you feel even more sorry for Kerry Washington now. At least your memory is refreshed.

in my opinion he already should have won an oscar for this role in "Django Unchained" but his role in "The Wolf of Wall Street" was even better.

And thus, Leo's bloody hand smear finds a spot in the historic list of most memorable improvising moments. This is also one of the many performances that leaves most of us scratching our head wondering to ourselves "Where in the hell is his Oscar?"

Titanic

There's no forgetting the memorable scene where Jack steps on the podium yelling “I’m king of the world!” which was one of the unscripted moments in the film and has ended up becoming one of the film’s most memorable lines in film history.

The Early, Mixed Thoughts and Reception

Putting aside Leo's intentions, Leo's adoption of the role has raised a herd of mixed feelings from the audience/READERS and are being expressed perhaps out of "built up". Leo still has a party rooting for him, as most of us have been for the past couple of years, and we we continue to await the intangible, However some of us find it quite exhausting:

SERIOUSLY. Just give the man an Oscar, which you should have given him for any number of the movies he's been in. - Anonymous Washington Post

Lets not exclude that positive reactions to the film, as its seems that Leo's adoption of the role might as well payed off:

DiCaprio went full on Daniel Day-Lewis in this movie, amazing.
For those of you thinking whether you watch this in the cinema, yes, it is definitely worth it. It is in my opinion much better than star wars, james bond, hunger games and etc, if you were to only pick one to watch at the cinema.- Anon
Saw this last night and what a fine piece of cinema it is. The film looks like a work of art, like a painting in motion. It's spooky how real everything seems and the lighting, you'd think it was done by special lighting, only it wasn't, this adds another layer of excellency. The imagery and symbolism is out of this world, like a dream. Tom Hardy is phenomenal. I honestly hated him and was repulsed by him, that is how good and convincing he is as an antagonist, and he's very difficult not to be liked hahah. Do yourself a favor and go watch it when it comes out! - Anon

And perhaps be as exhausting as watching Leo's character's ordeal in The Revenant. As challenging as Leo's experience was on set, some film watchers/ READERS don't find his effort quite impressive, but perhaps...annoying?

A little work out in the cold, some physical stunts, and biting into a raw liver don't comprise great theater (not that I deny that DiCaprio is a talented actor). It wasn't all that. - Anon( Washington Post

Good gawd, he’s an actor! He plays the part of what a real person did without the real person struggle. And being the “star”, you can bet he’s got a crew of folks kissing his posterior at any given moment. - Anon( Washington Post
Every time this guy is in a movie, these dumb 'hypothetical' questions are ask and the complete opposite happens.-Anon( Washington Post

YEA. And this isnt even the worst of remarks.

Dear Leo please stop kissing your own ass..if you are talented enough you will get oscar..if not you wont....dont hype yourself up - Anon (People)

Neither is that one..don't you just love the media?

As punishing as the film crew's experience was, this leaves an exhilarating thrill-ride in store for Leo fans and other film watchers, as Leo and the academy award winning director intended as we await to see the 41 year old actor in his most intense film yet. Considering we have yet to see Leo in a film where his character undergoes such ordeal. And thus, "a filmgoing experience that isn't watched but survived." awaits us.

Slightly a Leap of Faith?

While Leo can't put his Oscar-less title to rest quite yet, Its difficult to not imagine Leo's adoption of the role as an obvious effort to win an Oscar. Considering the fact that the role portraying the legendary explorer has been floating around for awhile before Leo picked it up. Which implies that other actors have turned it down...no matter how much bank they got offered...perhaps. Maybe those actors already HAVE Oscars..just a fun theory. If you were to take such a challenging role, one that others turned down because of the "logistics"...frankly you're taking a chance there. Its a bit difficult to not presume that a leap of faith was embedded in moment Leo chose to adopt the role.

“The truth is that I knew what I was getting into,” “This was a film that had been floating around for quite some time, but nobody was crazy enough to really take this on, simply because of the logistics of where we needed to shoot and the amount of work and rehearsal that would have to be done to achieve Alejandro and [cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki] vision.” - DiCaprio ( Vanity Fair : Hollywood)

And Although it seems too dim to be able to determine whether Leo's performance will earn him an Oscar or even a Golden Globe yet, it seems this was the most Leo has ever sacrificed in his career.....PERHAPS. And there's no question that Leo's chances of winning are slightly higher than before. Considering that voters will be fully aware of how much Leo suffered during production. In fact, Oscar voters have taken the challenges actors and actresses go through into consideration in the past. So Leo's presumed suffrage may raise his chances. Besides It doesn't seem that Leo couldn't have put himself through anything more painfully challenging. Its quite fair to say that Leo has went ALL OUT. However, lets not forget the competition. Despite Leo's effort, he still wont be able to escape the possibility of losing the Golden Globe OR the Oscar to someone else. While it may not seem like the worse thing...since he IS getting payed, losing this year, may leave Leo in a hollow tunnel as it would be quite a challenge to redeem with a performance that would have to be as good or most likely have to top his in Revenant to re enter nomination. And it might as well take another few years. No rush right? Leo still has a long way before pushing 60, but its less likely Leo would want to wait until then...

Think of it this way...you re a professional basket ball star, and your team has made the playoffs for the third year in a row,but have not one a SINGLE championship, you and your team find yourselves training TWICE as hard as the years before and sacrificing twice as much, this year the championship never felt so close, if you lose again, not the worse thing, there's always next year, but to get to the same spot you left off you and your teammates may have to sacrifice and practice twice as hard as the year before to get back into the playoffs and WIN...but there's no guarantee. If Leo's adoption of the role is an attempt to resurrect from 2013's loss, and perhaps the rest of the Oscar-less years, Leo is quite motivated.

Looking at the other side of things, If there's any price to pay when it comes to taking on the most challenging role in your career, other than facing the possibility of eating raw Bison Liver, being submerged in brutal weather and undergoing constant hypothermia only to lose to someone else in the Oscars..again, Leo perhaps payed it already. However it depends, what would ending up hurting Leo more: the Flu? hypothermia? or hearing someone else's name being announced as the winner for Best actor instead of his....again? Well it depends what matters more to Leo: the paycheck(s) or the OSCAR.

  • Just to point out: Leo could've just taken a role portraying a president...or a journalist...at least it'd be a lot less CHILLY..

In The End..Good Luck

Putting aside all remarks and speculations, there's no doubt walking off stage with an Oscar filling his hands will be Leo's ultimate gratification of his career. And Leo doesn't regret adopting the role. Perhaps that implies that even if Leo loses, this role will mark as the biggest highlight of his career. And regardless of who wins at the Oscars, no one is in a position to judge,...even if we've been doing that for the past..lets say...forever? But before Leo takes his seat at the ceremony, perhaps Leo should prepare himself for the worst by telling himself: "whether you win or not, the night the Oscars are over, the curtain goes down and you go back to the grind." if Leo hasn't been told something similar already. And don't forget..SEE REVENANT.

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