He is finally the ‘Jack’ of all awards. In 1997, when Titanic was released and it became the highest-grossing films of all time, everybody thought Leonardo Di Caprio (who played Jack) will be nominated and will win the Academy Awards. Surprisingly, the movie got nominated for all major categories at the Oscars, including Best Director, Best Film, and Best Actress, but not for Best Actor (the role in which Leonardo was cast). The Oscars have been eluding Di Caprio since then. Almost every couple of years, he brings his best act in front of the audience, and everytime he is rejected by ‘possibly’ a better actor.
He received innumerable Awards in his movie-career, but not Oscars. So what triggered him to act better and better even when his acting was not ‘recognised’ by the fraternity? And what can we learn from his tenacity to do celebratory work every time he was turned down by his own people.
Upgrades his skillsets every time he acts
He is the master at his trade. He knows his skill and keeps on improvising them. In each and every movie, he takes the character seriously and puts so much hardwork that Leonardo almost ceases to exist in the movie. You believe in his work – as Jack Dawson (Titanic), as Frank Abagnale Jr (Catch me if You Can), Howard Hughes (Aviator), Frank Wheeler (The Revolutionary Road), Dominic Cobb (Inception), Danny Archer (Blood Diamond), also Hugh Glass (The Revenant) and others. You won’t find a shade of Jack Dawson in Howard Hughes. So when you work, it is essential to keep upgrading your skills, and what better way to learn than him.
Determined to succeed
Failure is something that he doesn’t believe in. In 2014, when his film (he was the producer) The Wolf of Wall Street didn’t win, you could see the dejection on his face. He showed it for a while, and probably for that night only, but the failure didn’t stop him to continue his good work in The Revenant. For somebody who has been failed by the Academy in previous occasions, he was determined not to let those failures supersede his good work. He proved everybody wrong this year with the Academy Award. And as he said, “I do not take tonight for granted.”
Believe in himself and his work
In times of crises, in times of criticisms, we all tend to lose hope, and then we make mistakes – listening to advices which hardly make sense, losing confidence in the work that we do. But Leonardo didn’t. He bounced back every time with a hard-hitting movie and won hearts of all but not Awards. He believed in himself more than anybody else – and that’s what we all need to do when there is a storm at work.
Going beyond his beliefs
In order to achieve authenticity, it was necessary in The Revenant to show his character eat bison’s liver in one of the scenes. The problem, however was Leonardo is a vegetarian. Did he do it? Yes, he did. He has clearly shown that for bigger causes, you need to adjust and manage a little – even if it means going beyond the reasonable beliefs.
Keeps himself busy with other causes as well
He is an environmentalist. Apart from movies, what keeps him busy with are not acting causes, but Green causes. He is so attached with the cause, that right in 1998, he founded The Leonardo DiCaprio which is “dedicated to the long-term health and wellbeing of all Earth’s inhabitants. Through collaborative partnerships, we support innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities.”
And even at the Award, he didn’t forget to mention about the big cause: "Making The Revenant was about man's connection to the natural world. We felt in 2015 it was the hottest year on the planet. Climate change is real, it's happening right now, it's the most urgent threat affecting our entire species, we need to work right now and stop procrastinating... "We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters ... but who speak for all of humanity...Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”