Leonardo DiCaprio Talks Film Violence, Argues ‘Film Is Forever’

Leonardo DiCaprio does seem to mind film violence. At least, it doesn’t deter him from making films that he believes have artistic merit.

Following the tragic events last December in Newtown, Connecticut, part of the national conversation has shifted toward film violence, with some wondering whether or not fictional depictions of violent acts are capable of influencing people to imitate them in real life. One of the films at the center of the controversy lately is Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, a hyper-violent revenge actioner set in the Antebellum south.

Tarantino himself has long pushed back against critics of his depictions of violence in film, and most studies seem to agree with him: Film violence and real-life violence have little-to-no correlation.

But how does one of the film’s stars, Leonardo DiCaprio, feel about film violence?

“My philosophy has kind of always been the same: Pain is temporary, film is forever,” DiCaprio said on Thursday during an interview in Seoul, South Korea.

“You do everything you possibly can, you give it your all, all of your focus, and hopefully you come out with, if all the elements mixed together correctly, you come out with a great piece of art,” he said. “To me, cinema is the great modern art form.”

Django Unchained continues Tarantino’s habit of using hyper-stylized depictions of violence in films like Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds, with the director opining that controversial films become less so as they age.

Tarantino’s latest outing has proven to be his most successful box office venture to date, and took home a ton of awards, including top honors for original screenplay and best supporting actor (Christoph Waltz) at the Academy Awards last month.

Speaking at a news conference in Seoul (during Django’s red-carpet premiere there) DiCaprio mentioned that his first trip to South Korea was incredible, and that his warm welcome ensures that he will return at some point.

Django Unchained opened last weekend in Japan, and opens in South Korea and Singapore on March 21, 2013.

Another fun bit from DiCaprio’s South Korea tour featured the actor doing his best celebrity impersonation. You can see it for yourself below: