Being Leonardo DiCaprio is not easy. Throughout his career of over 20 years, the 42-year-old actor had to endure four heartaches from being a four-time Oscar nominee before finally winning the Oscar for Best Actor in February last year.
Then there is this crazy, hectic schedule that he has to juggle between partying on a luxury yacht, dating his latest model girlfriend, jetting off to climate change summits and filming environmental movies in remote locations.
But that’s really what he’s doing. The year 2016 was his year and the year 2017 still is. The recent proof was only two months ago when DiCaprio’s face appeared in the latest fashion collection by a designer duo while his latest film, The Ivory Game, was played as part of his work with World Wildlife Fund on the ivory trade ban and tiger conservation campaign.
As much as his reputation as the serial dater with actresses and models (the latest record was 24, 10 were Victoria’s Secret angels), the actor is also known for his passion and commitment on conservation work as seen from the support he has given through the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which, according to its website, has donated more than 30 million dollars to 78 environmental programs in 44 countries around the world.
That was another side of DiCaprio the public does not see often unless you work in environmental issues. The only way to see his serious and down-to-earth side is to watch his movies. There you will see not only his talent but that he really did his homework.
But fame did not change DiCaprio much. Following the overnight success of Titanic which has grossed over 2.18 billion dollars, the then 22-year-old actor avoided all publicity for a long time and waited for almost two years before accepting a new movie role in The Beach.
During the two-year break, “The Prince of New York” as dubbed by the media constantly made rounds of party hopping with his celebrity friends, it was also the time he founded the charity with an aim to restore and protect the world’s ecosystems through public campaigns and grants.
His love for nature and animals started since he was little. The $245-dollar net worth actor who admitted of suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder in childhood, has told the media that as a young boy, he was “obsessed with endangered species and the extinct species that men killed off. Biology was the subject in school that I was incredibly passionate about.”
DiCaprio would surely make a perfect date for an avid animal lover. A Time journalist once wrote about her surprise at the actor’s ability to reel off the names of 20 endangered species from memory.
Campaigners who have worked with the actor said he steeps himself in the material – reading, keeping himself updated on climate science and policy through hours of talks with experts, and traveling to locations that are on the frontline of climate change. He shared those first-hand experiences in his speech every time he had an opportunity whether at the meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump or at the United Nations Climate Change talks.
In the beginning, his involvement was more on performance such as narrating a climate change film, The 11th Hour, in 2007. Now as the highest-grossing actor without a sequel, DiCaprio is also generous with his time and fortune on saving the earth.
Dicaprio usually updates his Twitter post and retweeted news at least once a day, all of them about and conservation and accounting for more than 80 percent of his posts on Instagram. The same is true for his Facebook Clearly he is not into taking Selfies.
In his explanation on the dedication, DiCaprio said, “I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems. I believe mankind has looked at climate change in the same way, as if it were a fiction. But I think we know better than that.”
Looking at his lavish and swanky lifestyle, DiCaprio definitely has no trouble enjoying fame and success. But behind those extravagance lies this formidable force to make impactful changes.
“I am consumed by this,” DiCaprio told Rolling Stone last January. “There isn’t a couple of hours a day where I’m not thinking about it. It’s this slow burn. It’s not ‘aliens invading our planet next week and we have to get up and fight to defend our country,’ but it’s this inevitable thing, and it’s so terrifying.”
In his interview with The Telegraph, DiCaprio in retrospect talked about his life very interestingly.” I’ve been very lucky to have achieved a lot of the things that I dreamt of achieving as a young man,’ he says. ‘But, at the end of the day – and I truly believe this – it is not about achieving great wealth or success. Because they don’t bring happiness ultimately. They really don’t. What matters is whether or not you’ve fulfilled the idea of having led an interesting life, whether you’ve contributed in some way to the world around you.”
Call him whatever you want; a gifted actor, a party animal, a philanthropist, a mama’s boy, a playboy, an activist. But the best word to sum up DiCaprio’s character is probably what Russian President Vladimir Putin has put it upon seeing his passion to save the world: a real man.