Leonardo DiCaprio: Why Is He Popular?

OK - the film Titanic was actually fairly decent, big special effects monster - but DiCaprio SUCKED as an actor in that film - and the fact he was the only person not nominated for an Oscar proves I am not the only one to think so.

Yet now he is in Gangs Of New York, he is also in a new Spielberg film (the title escapes me right now) opening around Christmas, and he was just announced as the new Alexander The Great in an upcoming, megabudget feature.

What gives? He is one-note character actor at best. While not ugly, he certainly does not have the good looks of hundreds of other young actors. He is not particularly brainy, he doesn’t seem to have any socially redeeming interests and if you believe the supermarket press and entertainment news blurbs, he is an obnoxious twit to boot.

So - anyone want to explain to me how he has turned himself into Hollywood hot property?

He was really, really good in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

Other than that, I don’t know why he’s so popular either.

Young girls who go to movies over and over and over like very non-threatening “boyish” looks (see also: N’SYNC, etc.). Leo has the girly-boy thing in spades.

That said he was pretty good in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”

I thought he was very good in both What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and The Basketball Diaries, two roles that required him to be a little different than the typical pretty boy. I see nothing physically appealing about him. I think the kiddies bought into his personality and the love story of the titanic.

What Juanita Tech said. I didn’t realize that he was in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape after seeing the Titanic since he was so incredibly wooden in that schlockfest.

I thought he was quite good in This Boy’s Life but I sure don’t understand the heart throb appeal as of late.

DeCaprio had a strong reputation as an actor – and not just a pretty boy – well before he was cast in Titanic, a movie whose success has raised a lot of snobbery and jealousy. Whenever the movie is mentioned, the sound of people sniffing as they look down their nose is deafening. It seems to be a badge of honor in certain circles to hate Titanic. After all, it was [gasp] popular. We can’t have that, can we?

He’s popular because he’s handsome and made a big splash with young women in Titanic. It’s the usual Hollywood hype.

He and Brad Pitt have vexed me. I wanted to write them both off as pretty boy actors, but when I saw Leo in The Basketball Diaries and Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys of all things, i couldn’t pigeonhole them like that. I thought they both did great in their respective films.

Granted Brad has proven himself better still since then, but I still think Leo has great potential.

DiCaprio’s a fine actor. He was pretty decent in “Titanic,” playing that role as well as could be expected, and he’s done a very good job in many other films.

Is he really THAT popular, though? Seems to me that his star has fallen significantly. One would assume “Gangs of New York” will pump him back up again.

He’s dreamy.

After The Baskeball Diaries critics hailed him as the “next River Phoenix” which reputately annoyed Leo to no end. He got an Oscar nomination for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Since then he’s done a lot of drivel roles, like Man in the Iron Mask and taken on projects that don’t seem particularly challenging.

As for “socially redeeming interests” as per the OP, apparently he supports some environmental causes but got a lot of bad press when they film The Beach. The film crew bulldozed some ecologically delicate areas for the movie and so his reputation as an “environmentalist” was damaged. However, in their zeal to portray DiCaprio as a hypocrite, a lot of media failed to report that the film crew fully restored the land, planted additional trees and did an extensive, much-needed environmental clean-up of the area – ultimately leaving it stronger and healthier than it was when they arrived.

Personally, I don’t like him. I find he lacks charisma and with very few exceptions, his onscreen persona bores me. Lately, his “acting” seems so contrived that in the previews I’ve seen for Gangs of New York I mentally kept hearing Jon Lovitz’s voice as the Master THespian saying: “I am only… a-acting!

He is a decent actor, but I never understood why girls thought he was attractive.

Even more of a mystery is why anyone would find Hugh Grant attractive barf

Leo’s hot, Hugh Grant is not.

I think the problem with Leo in Titanic was not so much his acting as it was the lines he <barf, gag> had to say. There was plenty of good acting in that movie, but the writing was terrible.
I don’t Leo is all that attractive, but I think he is a decent actor.

I just want to go on the record that I think “…Gilbert Grape” is an awful film where everybody, esp. DiCaprio, was acting very, very badly. It is a completely unwatchable “movie”.

So that means I have never seen DeCaprio in a remotely watchable film.

As a former actor, I’ll let you in on a secret: the retarded and insane are easy to play convincingly. The mannerisms are broad, anything incongruous is in character, so long as you’re consistent and have one special “gimmick” (for lack of a better word), you’re fine. The best reviews, most applause, and easiest characters I ever played were Renfield from DRACULA and Benny from OF MICE AND MEN.

It’s much harder to create a “normal” character- e.g., Gilbert Grape was a harder performance than Arnie.

I’m surprised that no one’s brought up his role in Romeo and Juliet.

I personally used to think he was decent, but I became disappointed when, after following his work for a few years, he didn’t really seem to grow as an actor.

This new movie that opens christmas day is called “catch me if you can”, it is based on the life of Frank Abagnale (a reformed con man) and the book (of the same name) is one of my all time favorites, I do not know much about Leo but I sincerely hope he does not screw this up! (but he will, i’m sure).


[Kit Ramsey from Bowfinger]
“White boys always get the Oscar. It’s a known fact. Did I ever get a nomination? No! You know why? Cause I hadn’t played any of them slave roles, and get my ass whipped. That’s how you get the nomination. A black dude who plays a slave that gets his ass whipped gets the nomination, a white guy who plays an idiot gets the Oscar. That’s what I need, I need to play a retarded slave, then I’ll get the Oscar!”
[/Kit Ramsey from Bowfinger]