Leonardo DiCaprio, in his entire acting career, has appeared in over 25 films, according to his IMDb page, and has been nominated for an Academy Award four times for his performances. The 1993 drama What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, 2004’s The Aviator, 2006’s Blood Diamond, and 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street all earned the 41-year-old actor Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role nominations, though he didn’t win a single one of them. Of course, he did win a Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical — for the latter film.
However, ever since the first trailer for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant debuted, many have been speculating all year that 2016 may just finally be the year in which DiCaprio earns his Oscar wins.
Iñárritu’s The Revenant tells the true story Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a frontiersman in the 1820s making his way through the American wilderness with a team of explorers who is attacked by a bear, left for dead, and buried alive. Glass, seeking vengeance, must pull himself together and find those who abandoned him. DiCaprio was working in subzero temperatures, nearly freezing to death during the process. Iñárritu himself, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, confirmed that the ice visible in DiCaprio’s beard is indeed real.
“Yeah, sometimes it was real ice, yes. I remember getting out of my gloves to get my coffee or to take a picture, and believe me, within 30 seconds, my fingers would be numb. There was no easy day on this film. It was an eight-month enterprise in remote, cold, uncomfortable, difficult landscapes. The entire film felt like a bear attack. Every day that f—ing bear found me and was chewing me. That bear likes Mexican flesh. But I think Leonardo couldn’t be more proud or more happy. We couldn’t have gotten along better. He’s insanely good in it, and without the collaboration, the way that he approached this as a partner, it could have been impossible.”
Leonardo DiCaprio, who has called this shoot the most challenging of his career, illustrates his raw acting talent and his character’s will to survive in this latest TV spot for the film.
But this year, like any other, is seeing a number of actors in leading roles stepping up to the plate and giving unforgettable performances, some delivering their best work in years. Johnny Depp, who starred in this year’s Black Mass, has only received three Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role nominations in his career — for 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 2004’s Finding Neverland, and 2007’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. But with critics praising Depp’s performance, it’s easy to assume that he will become competition for Leonardo DiCaprio. In a list of names compiled by Deadline, other actors playing real-life people who have been nominated in the past but have not won could create a tough race for the award.
Michael Fassbender, who was nominated for his performance in the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave, has drummed up some Oscar talk for his performance as Steve Jobs in this years Danny Boyle-directed Jobs. Eddie Redmayne is receiving overwhelming praise for his performance in Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl. Having won the Academy Award last year for The Theory of Everything, Redmayne would be the first actor in 20 years to win back-to-back Oscars were he to win this year.
The Revenant, which stars, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, and Domhnall Gleeson, opens in select cinemas on December 25, 2015, before it expands nationwide on January 8, 2016.
[Photo by Kimberley French/Twentieth Century Fox]