"Let's not take this planet for granted," DiCaprio warned in 2016 upon receiving his first Oscar for his performance in The reborn, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. The actor spent practically a year filming on horseback between the Canadian Rockies and Argentine Patagonia, with extremely harsh weather conditions.
Q.- To this day, what moves and fascinates you the most: your career as an actor or the defense of the environment?
A.- I am passionate about both facets, but at this moment the question of the environment is paramount and comes before any form of artistic expression. There are things that have to change and they have to do it now; otherwise, we may be the most vilified generation in history. The question of ecology for me is vital. It is vital for everyone. Unfortunately, our governments and corporations did not take the necessary steps to protect our planet's natural resources. Nature always fascinated me, since I was a child. In fact, at one time he wanted to be a marine biologist. I suppose that's why, when I don't make films, I am much more concerned with my amusing environmentalist and try to make public issues that seem to me of enormous relevance.
It was the vice president of the United States between 1993 and 2001 who made the actor a conscientious militant. «In the late nineties I met Al Gore, who changed my life. He educated me, explained what global warming is, how we contribute to it. His film, An Inconvenient Truth, had a profound impact on me. '
Perhaps the present, the real, is the most terrifying argument that not only the actor but each one of us faces. “The tragedy is that we live in a world of extinctions. We could lose between a third and a half of the planet's species in the next fifty to one hundred years. But the real endangered species is us. The planet will survive, but humanity possibly will not. The fundamental mistake that we have made as a species is to think that we are independent beings of nature. She created us. That is why you have to respect their rules of the game. You have to learn to play again. As a civilization we are at a crucial point.
Al Gore, but also Clinton. A few decades ago, DiCaprio participated in a special program on the ABC network (one of the Big Four in the United States, owned by Disney) in which he interviewed the then American president on issues related to the environment. It garnered numerous criticisms for the lack of journalistic rigor. DiCaprio attended as president of the environmental association Earth Day. “From that program, I realized that, despite the fact that ninety percent of scientists and Nobel Laureates clearly explain the dramatic situation on the planet, there are ten percent of people who deny it, and one has to wonder where they get the information and who finances it. When I did that television special, nobody believed what was being talked about, they thought that the idea that the global temperature would rise dangerously was as likely as a meteorite hitting the Earth and killing us all.
But America has changed dangerously too much since that program. If DiCaprio worked alongside Clinton, Al Gore and Obama in the fight against climate change, Donald Trump is the sinister reverse side of the White House on this matter. Not only has it taken the country out of the Paris Agreement, but it has lost no opportunity to scoffing at what it considers to be unrepentant climate threats. “I would love to be president of the United States to change our policies. We are falling behind. We are the ones who contribute the most to global warming, representing only five percent of the world's population. I would take advantage of the presidency for this country to invest whatever it needed in green technology. I would get a few laws passed and then I would go home… ”, DiCaprio reveals.
He already said it a few lines above: had he not been an actor, he would have devoted himself to Biology: «Or I would have worked on something that had to do with science and animals». But the cinema was crossed first. «In life you have to be prepared for when your opportunity appears, and mine was This boy’s lifeEven if I hadn't lived in Los Angeles, if my mother hadn't taken me to so many auditions when I was a child, that opportunity wouldn't have presented itself. It's also about being in the right place at the right time.
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He always wanted to play Spiderman, his favorite superhero. But they considered that his great friend Tobey Maguire was a better profile. He refused to star in the musical. Moulin rouge, because he did not trust his talents as a singer, a role that Ewan McGregor eventually played. And he declined to play the psychopath of American psychoconsidering it detrimental to his career. «Since I started working in this industry, when I was 13 years old, I dreamed of continuing to make films all my life. When I made my first television ad, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do the rest of my days. Later I realized that cinema is as legitimate an art as sculpture or painting. And I'm very curious to know which movies will survive a thousand years from now.. I would love to have participated in any of them. That is my dream".
It is not difficult for that wish to be fulfilled. In addition to having worked with immense actors (Robert De Niro, Johnny Deep, Gene Hackman, Kate Winslet, Jeremy Irons, Gerard Depardieu and John Malkovich), he has been under the command of some of the great directors in the history of cinema (Martin Scorsese , Woody Allen or Steven Spielberg). From being a youth idol to carving out an undeniable professional career. «I always took being an actor seriously. Playing my first serious role, in This boy’s lifeI dedicated myself to studying the other actors, particularly De Niro. Coming from television and seeing the enormous intensity that he puts into each character, it was something that changed my way of thinking and conditioned me forever.
By Gabriel Lerman. Follow if you want to see the full interview