Remember the heroic entry of Leobardo DiCaprio in a cape when he saved California from a power-hungry alien species? Don't you? Well, it's because the guy never did it. The Hollywood star has never worn a cape or starred in a superhero movie. His career has been an uphill road owing solely to the excellent performances. Be it the love bird Jack from Titanic, the troubled and productive war veteran Gatsby, or the despicable Calvin Candie from Django Unchained, audiences across the globe have loved and hated the many characters played by Leo. But they never have questioned his performances.
It all started in the year 1997 when in an attempt to create some early buzz, Titanic was launched at the Tokyo Film Festival. This was done to target the primarily isolated Asian market at the time. The turnout was ten times more than expected, and the response touched heights, even the film producers didn't expect. People lined up in thousands to watch Leo as Jack Dawson. Titanic was soon revealed to be the first movie that stayed number one in each and every country it was released in. This is a feat yet untouched by any other film.
Twenty-two years have passed ever since, and Leo is still the most bankable Hollywood star who is a darling of both the audiences and critics. He is the only one among other actors of his promise and acclaim to have never starred in billion-dollar earning Comic movie or to have cut through alien species wielding a lightsaber. Stars like Will Smith and Jennifer Lawrence who showed the same promise as him, have waned with time but Leo still sits alone as the only global star to have never become a part of Franchises. Maybe that's why they say, and the guy is a franchise in himself.
It has been four years since he played the vengeful Hugh Glass in The Revenant, which won him the long-awaited Academy Award in The Best Actor in Leading Role category. Reuniting again with Quentin Tarantino, he's cast as a forgotten actor Rick Dalton who hasn't stood up to the promise he showed in his youth. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, is his return to the mega screen after an absence of four years and his fans are itching to watch him again.
Many believe him to have the kind of superstar status Robert De Niro and Al Pacino had in the 70s and 80s. They stood alone, bereft of any comparison and never rushed it with trying to do two movies in a year. Leo isn't a social media buff and lives a life very different from other megastars of today like Dwayne Johnson, who is on social media, every time, everywhere.
The audiences don't have to think twice when it comes to his movies. If the film has Leo in it, it's going to be great. People who have worked with him emphasize on the fact that his success isn't some sort of an accident, the guy works as hard as anybody to establish his own brand, the brand of excellence.
The appreciation and acclaim he received were much before Titanic when he landed his first proper film role in the 1993 movie This Boy's Life. That role was significant not just because it was alongside the great Robert De Niro but because it was to earn him the critical acclaim that led to him playing Johhny Depp's little brother in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. He won his first-ever Oscar nomination for the film which was released in 1993. Leo was a 19-year old teenager at the time.
After the humungous success received by Titanic, Leo abandoned the formula of high-concept thrillers to work with the best Directors like Martin Scorcese. He has starred in five Scorcese movies which include Gangs Of New York, The Aviator, Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed, and Shutter Island. The list of his collaborators consists of Oscar-winning and nominated directors like James Cameron, Danny Boyle, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, and Martin Scorcese.
The films that he has starred in have earned colossal box office profits along with critical acclaim unrivaled by any other stars. For instance, out of his last five movies, three have been nominees in the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards. The same film has gone on and earned an aggregate nearing $2 Billion worldwide.
Martin Scorcese even went on to say that Leo is the one who reignited his love for film-making. According to him, Leo will do just fine also if he starred in silent films, his face, the expressions he displays are more than enough to captivate audiences. Quentin Tarantino tells a story about how he envisioned his hateful Calvin Candie to be a 60-year older man and was surprised to receive a call from Leo. He was skeptical about giving him the role, but he later thought of it as an exciting idea and Leo definitely rocked it as the ruthless Slaveowner.
Leo doesn't use his social media popularity to promote himself and his movies but to raise environmental issues like protecting Amazon or requesting people to eat Vegan burgers. One of his oldest friends says that he's very aware and well-informed when it comes to environmental issues and is genuinely passionate about them. His personal life stays a mystery, and the guy rarely likes to talk about himself.
Would Once Upon A Time In Hollywood break or retain Leo's streak as a global superstar? Well, only time can tell, but his fans believe it will be another gem in his collection. They've got valid reasons to believe in him as the guy has never failed. Whatever the outcome is, Leonardo DiCaprio has established himself as the only Hollywood star to be critically acclaimed and the most bankable in his generation. The lovers of Cinema hope that this streak never ends as what we, as viewers get great movies and poignant performances.