Leonardo DiCaprio has finally won his first Academy Award after five previous nominations as he takes home the award for Best Actor at the 88th annual Academy Awards for playing the lead role in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s survival drama The Revenant.
The 41-year-old DiCaprio been nominated for an Oscar five times — Best Supporting Actor for 1994’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and three Best Actor nominations for 2005’s The Aviator, 2007’s Blood Diamond, and 2014’s The Wolf of Wall Street, for which he was also nominated for Best Picture as one of the film’s producers. Each time, the actor and his fans have been let down.
The Washington Post summed up the peculiar predicament of DiCaprio’s career, in that the popular and talented actor, who has starred in some of the biggest Hollywood movies of the last two decades, had never won an Oscar.
“DiCaprio sits at that rare intersection of popular and critical consensus: Pretty much everyone thinks he’s good. And yet every year, without fail, the prolific and no-longer-baby-faced actor finds himself clapping for someone else.”
The joke provoked an enormous string of internet memes and even a video game, but tonight DiCaprio’s 20-year-long struggle to win an Oscar has finally come to an end. For Leo, the sixth time was the charm. Dicaprio’s seemingly superhuman commitment to the role received a lot of media attention. The film, which tells the real-life story of of Hugh Glass, a 19th-century fur trapper who is betrayed and left for dead, was reportedly shot over a period of seven months in sub-zero temperatures.
The Post reported that DiCaprio was said “to have eaten raw bison liver and slept in animal carcasses. The film also picked up Oscars for best cinematography and best director for Alejandro González Iñárritu.”
“Climate change is real and it’s happening right now,” he said. “It’s the most urgent threat affecting our species.”
DiCaprio was chosen over the other nominations, beating out Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, Matt Damon for The Martian, Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs, and Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl.
DiCaprio and fellow Titanic star Kate Winslet made quite a splash at the awards this year as the duo held a reunion on the red carpet and Winslet emotionally professed her support for DiCaprio’s Oscar nomination.
“It does really feel as though it’s Leo’s year,” she was quoted as saying by Today. “I keep getting emotional when I talk about Leo.”
Winslet also expressed her hopes of DiCaprio’s chances to finally take home the Oscar to the BBC, as quoted by TIME.
“I think he probably will win…” Winslet said, “I think you can sort of feel it, and I think that everyone wants it for him. It would be amazing, it would just be amazing.”
Winslet was reportedly in tears during during DiCaprio’s acceptance speech according to Just Jared. Winslet herself was nominated for her seventh Oscar during the awards this evening, but didn’t win.
DiCaprio isn’t the first beloved actor to be snubbed many times for an Academy Award. The legendary Peter O’Toole was nominated for an incredible seven Academy Awards – for 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia, 1964’s Becket, 1968’s The Lion in Winter, 1969’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1972’s The Ruling Class, 1980’s The Stunt Man, 1982’s My Favorite Year, and 2006’s Venus – before finally winning an honorary Oscar in 2013.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]