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Articles, News & Updates ♦ April 09, 2020

The ‘Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood‘ star has joined forces with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple’s Steve Jobs, to pledge a whopping $12 million to help supply food to those who need it most.

He said in a statement: “In the face of this crisis, organisations like World Central Kitchen and Feeding America have inspired us all with their unwavering commitment to feed the most vulnerable people in need. I thank them for their tireless work on the frontlines, they deserve all of our support.

Whilst Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, added: “On behalf of Feeding America, I would like to thank Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs and Tim Cook for their generosity and support, which will help our network of food banks provide food and other resources to communities impacted by this crisis. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 37 million people in this country did not have consistent access to nutritious meals – including 11 million children and 5.5 million seniors. These numbers are quickly rising, and it is critical that we rally together as a nation to support our neighbours during this time of great need.

Since their pledge, Oprah Winfrey has pledged an extra $10 million to support the fund.

Taking to Twitter, she shared: “@chefjoseandres and Claire Babineaux-Fontenot have teamed up with @LeoDiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs and @Apple to launch America’s Food Fund to help feed local communities … I believe that America’s Food Fund will be a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors in need and am committing $1 million to this fund to support those facing food insecurity … I am donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up. (sic)”

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Articles, Leonardo, News & Updates ♦ February 09, 2020

THE SUN

WITH an Oscars Best Actor nod last night, Leonardo DiCaprio spent the weekend preparing for one of his biggest ever tear-ups.

But as one of Hollywood’s most notorious party lovers, he did it in his trademark style.

The A-lister kept a low profile in the run-up to the big awards ceremony at LA’s Dolby Theatre.

He wore a baseball cap pulled down over his face as he turned up with model girlfriend Camilla Morrone to a pre-party thrown by super-agency WME.

But I can reveal Leo — who was Oscar-nominated for his lead role in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood — then quietly quit this sophisticated soiree in favour of a wilder do until 5am in nearby Beverly Hills.

It was thrown at a friend’s £9million mansion complete with under-ground night-club. Leo got on the booze with fellow ladies’ man Jamie Foxx and they were soon swarmed by models.

But the night descended into chaos as the home was overrun with mystery gate-crashers who had got in by scaling a nearby fence, and a heavy-duty security team was called in to bring the mayhem under control.

An insider told me: “Leo had tried to go incognito, in his usual black cap, and he headed straight for the underground club, which was very dimly lit.

“He was drinking and smoking with Jamie, who was with a huge crew and some hot models. Adam Sandler was there, too.

“It all started pretty chilled out but as the night went on, many of the guests were totally wasted on booze and weed and suddenly it was just chaos and security couldn’t keep control.

BOOZE AND WEED

“Word had got round about the party being the place to be with so many big stars turning up and people were even trying to break in via a building site next door.

“Many of those partying didn’t even know whose house it was.”

Leo, who plays ageing TV star Rick Dalton in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, was competing for the Best Actor spoils against Antonio Banderas, Adam Driver, Joaquin Phoenix and Jonathan Pryce.

His girlfriend Camila, 23 years his junior, made a rare appearance without him at the Chanel And Charles Finch pre-awards bash.

The pair have been dating since 2017.

Despite his heavy night with Jamie Foxx, party king Leo found the energy to hit the town again late on Saturday at Fox Studios’ annual Night Before bash.

Movie awards aside, Leo sounds like he’s winning almost every night to me.

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LA TIMES

”I swear to God, I had to hide a tear,” Brad Pitt says, looking over at Quentin Tarantino and Leonardo DiCaprio, remembering the first time Tarantino played him the José Feliciano cover of “California Dreamin’” on the set of “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.” “Look,” Pitt continues. “I’m not ashamed to say it. I got a little misty.”

We’ve settled onto a couple of sofas inside a bungalow at the Chateau Marmont because … where else would we meet to talk about Tarantino’s wistful elegy to a bygone Hollywood? As the song declares, it’s a winter’s day, though the (palm tree) leaves are green, not brown, and the sun setting just beyond the swimming pool is making the sky periwinkle blue, not a dismal gray.

But otherwise, yeah, we’re California dreamin’, sitting back, talking about a movie that earned 10 Oscar nominations — three for Tarantino as a director, writer and producer, and acting nods for DiCaprio and Pitt — and also considering the good fortune that has graced their lives over the last few decades.

“You know, when I first moved out here, it was the summer of ’86 and I didn’t know [expletive]-all about Los Angeles, other than what I’d seen on ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ and ‘Dragnet,’” Pitt says. “I landed in Burbank at a house I could crash at for a month or so. It was just me and a maid from Thailand who couldn’t speak English. Man, I was just so up for the adventure, and so excited when I’d drive by a studio where they make movies. It meant the world to me.”

“Then I moved and it was one of those eight guys in a two-bedroom apartment in North Hollywood kind of things,” Pitt continues, smiling at the memory. “You have your little corner where you keep your clothes folded up in a little bedroll. I became quite accustomed to McDonald’s and Shakey’s Pizza buffet. I didn’t mind. The city was a wide-open experience.”

Pitt presses Tarantino to tell tales of living in his car, writing scripts. “Which part of town?” he asks. Tarantino evades the queries for a bit, then relents. “It was at the back of Video Archives,” Tarantino says, talking about the Manhattan Beach video store where he worked in the ‘80s, turning customers on to kung fu and blaxploitation movies while writing “Reservoir Dogs.” And, yes, he slept in his car, a Ford Capri, around back in the parking lot.

“You’re not stretching out in a Ford Capri, are you?” Pitt asks, laughing.

DiCaprio’s parents moved to L.A. at the behest of his mom, who spied a Venice Beach postcard while living in the Bronx and thought, “This is where I want to move.” They settled east of Hollywood. Tarantino can picture the precise location because the apartment was right by the pool hall where Martin Scorsese shot the interiors for his 1973 drama “Mean Streets.”

“Hollywood and Western,” DiCaprio says, pinpointing the cross streets. “Then we moved to Silver Lake and it was me bugging my parents on the commute to go to school on the Westside to please, please, please drop me off at auditions. But I kept getting rejected by agents. I think because I was a break dancer at the time and had crazy haircuts …”

Pitt interrupts with a burst of laughter. “You were a break dancer? There’s got to be video somewhere.” DiCaprio cops to owning a little footage. “Oh, my God,” Pitt says. “VHS of course. I’ve got to see it. We need a movie night.”

“But that rejection,” DiCaprio continues, “it was like, even though I lived in the mecca of this dream land that was the movie industry, it felt like this intangible world where I needed a fairy godmother to come down and say, ‘You are anointed as an actor.’”

“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” considers the idea of which actors become blessed and the others who remain on the periphery, as well as the insecurities inherent in the profession and the value in simply being a working actor making a living. It’s a couple of days in the lives of a fading TV western star named Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) trying to forge a career in a changing Hollywood and his loyal, longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth (Pitt), a good friend and possible scoundrel who, rumor has it, killed his wife. There’s no plot, just the dark shadow of history lurking around the edges. Rick lives in Benedict Canyon on Cielo Drive. Roman Polanski and his wife, Sharon Tate, are renting the house next door.

Pitt and particularly DiCaprio were single-minded in their determination to make a go of it as actors. They succeeded, but they know it could easily have turned out differently. Tarantino loves to pepper Pitt with questions about his early acting career, a drill that seems both a quest for knowledge and an exercise that he knows will end only in frustration.

“I want him to be more excited about it than he is because I get excited by it,” Tarantino says, warming up. “Like, I think it would have been [expletive] awesome in the ‘60s to guest on ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ and do a scene with David McCallum as Illya Kuryakin. That would have been cool. It would have been [expletive] awesome to do a ‘Baretta’ with Robert Blake. Or a ‘Kung Fu’ with David Carradine.

“And Brad did things like that. ‘You did a “Dallas”? Did you do a scene with J.R.?’ ‘I don’t remember.’ ‘YOU DON’T REMEMBER IF YOU HAD A SCENE WITH J.R.?!?’” Pitt, seated next to Tarantino, wearing a parka because he’s feeling “toxic,” nearly lands on the floor, laughing. “‘I did a “21 Jump Street.” ‘Oh. Did you and Depp have a scene together?’ ‘I don’t remember.’ ‘YOU DO NOT REMEMBER IF YOU HAD A [EXPLETIVE] SCENE WITH JOHNNY DEPP ON “21 JUMP STREET”?’ He’s just being cool. ‘Yeah, whatever. I don’t remember any of that [expletive].’”

“It’s not that bad,” Pitt offers in his defense. “I was on three episodes of ‘Dallas’ and I think I had one line. And it was either ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ And that I cannot remember.” Tarantino adds that Pitt played Charlene Tilton’s boyfriend. Apparently he was the strong silent type.

The conversation circles back around to “California Dreamin’,” Feliciano’s haunting cover of the Mamas and the Papas song heard in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” as Rick and Cliff drive home after a rather eventful day. Rick has gone through hell and back, shooting a guest spot on a TV pilot called “Lancer,” first trashing his trailer in a rage fueled by self-pity, doubt and a haze of whiskey sours and then recovering to later nail his big scene. Cliff has picked up a hippie hitchhiker, dropped her off at Spahn Ranch and then engaged in a showdown with Manson family members on the western town movie set.

“They both had these pretty insane days, and then we get in the car and I remember asking Quentin, ‘Should we talk about this?’” DiCaprio says. “And Quentin was like, ‘Just get in the car and drive.’ And it’s like this palate cleanser. And it’s also sincerely who these two guys were. We’re going home, get a pizza, drink some beer and watch me on ‘The FBI.’ That’s our therapy. And I have that relationship with some of my friends. ‘Let’s just sit and say nothing.’”

Pitt nods. “And then maybe three days later, Cliff would tell him what happened. Or he probably didn’t tell Rick because he’d get pissed off that he’d have to spend the 18 bucks to fix the flat tire. ‘What the [expletive] were you driving to Chatsworth for? Why is the mileage in my car so off?’”

Of all the lines in all the reviews written about “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” the one that Tarantino cherishes relates to the film’s verisimilitude in re-creating a Los Angeles with half a century in its rear-view mirror.

“It was, ‘When Cliff drives through L.A. it was like Brad Pitt driving through a documentary,’” Tarantino remembers, laughing. “And, frankly, if you do a movie like this, that’s the thing you want to nail and really be proud of that. It’s like [Werner] Herzog. ‘Yeah, we really nailed the Amazon in ‘Fitzcarraldo.’ Well, we nailed Los Angeles.”

DiCaprio loves this comparison so deeply that he will repeat “we really nailed the Amazon” half a dozen times before we leave. It also triggers an idea, a sort of side hustle that he seems willing to bankroll.

“Do a ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ tour and take on the TMZ buses that show up at our houses,” DiCaprio says. “We could make a lot of moolah and put them out of business.” Tarantino starts ticking off the possible locales — Westwood Village, Musso & Frank Grill, the landmark Mexican restaurants El Coyote and Casa Vega — noting that he recently went on a Vienna walking tour of spots used in Carol Reed’s 1946 film noir “The Third Man” and loved it. “Except for the rats in the sewers,” he adds. “They freaked me out.”

“But it needs to be done sooner than later,” DiCaprio adds. “There’s such a disposability to this town. We create this permanence in these movies and they get burned into celluloid and that’s what we live with. Everything else just evaporates and disappears. Los Angeles is constantly evolving and changing. That’s why movies like this are so engaging.”

At some point, unnoticed, Pitt has wrapped a knit scarf around his neck, though it’s not so much a scarf as a throw blanket. The sun has disappeared and it’s time to leave, embarking on journeys along Hollywood streets that can no longer be navigated with the ease that Cliff Booth employed in his Karmann Ghia.

“We’re all just passing through, doing the best we can in these movies,” Pitt says, offering an elbow bump as a departure greeting. “But this one, I would say it’s one of the few times where the experience is as special and unique as the final film. Like our life is as important as the final product. For me, that’s, ‘We’re livin.’”

Check the photos in our gallery:

 

GALLERY LINKS:

Photoshoots & Portraits – 2020 – LA Times

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Articles, Interviews, News & Updates ♦ January 17, 2020

LA TIMES

In “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Leonardo DiCaprio plays a struggling actor who can only dream of being nominated for an Academy Award. He has to fight for good parts, is never recognized for industry accolades and is forced to travel overseas to get work.

That, of course, is far from DiCaprio’s reality. On Monday, the 45-year-old scored his sixth acting Oscar nomination for his leading turn in Quentin Tarantino’s film. The actor, who took home the coveted trophy in 2016 for “The Revenant,” said he woke up at his home in Los Angeles a couple of hours after the nominations were announced.

How do you think Rick Dalton would react to being nominated for an Oscar?

I think Rick Dalton would be ecstatic. This film, in a lot of ways, was Quentin’s love letter to Los Angeles and this entire industry — so many of the actors before me that built the foundation of this entire town. Rick was becoming obsolete, and embodied that major cultural transition in the industry. It was a great joy to do the research of that time period with Quentin.

When you won an Oscar in 2016, you seemed very moved during your acceptance speech. Does Oscar recognition really mean a lot to you?

Absolutely. I think everyone feels that way. We inhabit these roles, we go off on location to do these performances, and you never know how the audience or critics are going to feel about what you do.

You and costar Brad Pitt seem to have grown especially close on the awards trail. How has your friendship evolved since filming?

Both of us connected with the relationship that the two characters have in the film — the support system they have for one another. Having grown up in this industry around the same time and places, we just clicked into these people. It was a really natural, implicit understanding. It was amazing working with Brad.

At the Golden Globes this month, he cracked that he thought Jack should’ve shared the life raft with Rose at the end of “Titanic.” Were you surprised by the depth of his “Titanic” knowledge?

He always comes prepared with some good quip on stage — especially the last-minute ones.

There was a lot of talk at the Globes about the fires in Australia. Should you get a chance on the Oscar stage, would you take the opportunity to talk about issues that are important to you?

Absolutely. If it’s something that you’re passionate about — whether that be the environment or not — there’s not many opportunities for us as artists to have a voice that reaches to millions and millions of people around the world. We’re going through an unprecedented shift in the environmental moment — seeing disasters happening faster and at a scary level. The Australian bush fires are — as Russell Crowe put it — related to climate change and temperatures rising and droughts. We need to bring a voice to these issues, and we have a platform that is unprecedented and unmatched.

You’ve produced a handful of environmental documentaries over the past few years, but none has gotten as much attention as a film like “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.” Does that bother you?

Well, the truth is, as much as you would love to see people bring as much attention to something I did like “Sea of Shadows” — about the possible extinction of the vaquita — or the climate change film “Before the Flood,” at the end of the day we are in the renaissance of documentaries. There’s more funding for these films and these ideas, and the truth is that they’re getting millions and millions more eyeballs than before because of these streaming services.

At the Globes, Ricky Gervais poked fun at the fact that you’ve dated many women who are younger than you. Does that make you happy there is no host for this year’s Oscars?

No, it’s all good fun. It’s the Oscars, at the end of the day. Is this a common thing? Do you think this will become common — the no-host thing? I do like a host. But after watching it with no host last year, you know, it wasn’t that bad, either. Both ways were kinda cool with me. But you’ve gotta have somebody who’s excited to do it, which Ricky was.

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Today, Leo received his 7th Oscar nomination! We all are so proud of him.

Here’s Leo‘s reaction statement about being nominated;

. “I’d like to thank the Academy for recognizing my work along with the incredible performances of my fellow nominees. I’ve been incredibly fortunate, with this film, to have partnered with brilliant collaborators in Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. This film is an homage to the city of Los Angeles, and I had the opportunity to portray an actor facing his own obsolescence, at a time when our culture was going through massive change. This film in many ways is a tribute to all those who were a part of this industry. Cinema is, and continues to be a powerful form of free artistic expression. This film along with so many others this year, were truly original and impactful. I hope as we progress, we continue to see even more of them. I feel honored to be a part of it all. Thank you again.
.

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News & Updates, Nominations ♦ January 07, 2020

Today (January 07), was announced the nominees of the BAFTA 2020 and Leonardo received his 5th nomination.

Best actor

Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Adam Driver – Marriage Story
Taron Egerton – Rocketman
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes

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Interviews, News & Updates ♦ January 07, 2020

Marc Maron’s beloved WTF podcast is known for having some big names on the show, but even by Maron’s standards, this week’s guests were a pretty big deal. “I’m not a starstruck person, but these guys are shiny f–kers,” Maron admitted in his introduction to the Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio episode, calling them both “great actors” and “naturally gifted” movie stars. Pitt, as it turns out, is almost as big a fan of Maron, enthusiastically referring to the host as “the great Marc Maron” when he walked into the ArcLight theatre where they recorded the episode.

Pitt even referred to the host’s cancelled IFC show Maron as his “happy place”. With a love fest like that right off the bat, it was clear to listeners this was going to be a good chat.

The pair were on the podcast to promote their Quentin Tarantino flick, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which won both QT and Pitt a Golden Globe Sunday night and which finds DiCaprio playing a washed-up television cowboy who spends much of his time with Pitt’s character, his best friend and stunt double, and they were in fine form, laughing and looking back at the respective careers from their early gigs to the moment they hit that level of fame that meant nothing would be the same.

Art lovers & entertainers

Maron brought up the subject of art, mentioning Pitt’s enthusiasm for the fine art world and asking if he’d ever tried to make any of his own. The actor shared that he’d dabbled in sculpture, calling it “meditative” and recognizing the practice as a good, solitary mental break from the collaborative process of film-making. When Maron asked his guests if they recognized their own film work as art, DiCaprio quickly replied, “Yeah, I hope so,” while Pitt more hesitantly added, “We’re certainly entertainers.” (For the record, neither of them have any current aspirations of directing.)

 

Marc Maron’s beloved WTF podcast is known for having some big names on the show, but even by Maron’s standards, this week’s guests were a pretty big deal. “I’m not a starstruck person, but these guys are shiny f–kers,” Maron admitted in his introduction to the Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio episode, calling them both “great actors” and “naturally gifted” movie stars. Pitt, as it turns out, is almost as big a fan of Maron, enthusiastically referring to the host as “the great Marc Maron” when he walked into the ArcLight theatre where they recorded the episode.

Pitt even referred to the host’s cancelled IFC show Maron as his “happy place”. With a love fest like that right off the bat, it was clear to listeners this was going to be a good chat.

The pair were on the podcast to promote their Quentin Tarantino flick, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which won both QT and Pitt a Golden Globe Sunday night and which finds DiCaprio playing a washed-up television cowboy who spends much of his time with Pitt’s character, his best friend and stunt double, and they were in fine form, laughing and looking back at the respective careers from their early gigs to the moment they hit that level of fame that meant nothing would be the same.

Art lovers & entertainers

Maron brought up the subject of art, mentioning Pitt’s enthusiasm for the fine art world and asking if he’d ever tried to make any of his own. The actor shared that he’d dabbled in sculpture, calling it “meditative” and recognizing the practice as a good, solitary mental break from the collaborative process of film-making. When Maron asked his guests if they recognized their own film work as art, DiCaprio quickly replied, “Yeah, I hope so,” while Pitt more hesitantly added, “We’re certainly entertainers.” (For the record, neither of them have any current aspirations of directing.)

 

 

DiCaprio and Pitt both started their careers on the small screen. In talking about first roles, Leo mentioned briefly working on the show Parenthood (based on the 1989 Steve Martin movie where DiCaprio took on the role originated by Joaquin Phoenix!) before joining Growing Pains in the early ’90s. Pitt had actually guest-starred on Growing Pains a few years earlier, playing a minor role on the iconic sitcom with Canadian television dad, Alan Thicke. Pitt went on to star in Dark Side of the Sun, a long-forgotten (if completely unknown) Yugoslavian film about a man who had to cover his entire face and body at all times because exposure to the sun could kill him. His summary of the character? “Yeah, he dies.”

While Brad and Leo are arguably amongst the most famous people currently living on planet earth, it wasn’t always that way. Both admitted that they could immediately tell when a movie didn’t work and even well-meaning friends weren’t able to lie about the results.

DiCaprio wouldn’t mention the film by name, but his friend’s five-word reaction was all he needed to know that he didn’t have a hit on his hands: “Wasn’t my cup of tea.”

First rule of Fight Club

Even some of their most popular films missed the mark with initial audiences and they have the stories to prove it.

Pitt told a hilarious tale about one of the first screenings to Fight Club. “We had the best screening ever. We had it at the Venice Film Festival and they do this midnight screening…for some reason, [Edward Norton] and I thought it would be a good idea to smoke a joint beforehand. And we go in, and they put you up in a balcony and you sit next to the guy who runs the festival, everyone’s looking at you, they clap and you sit down, it’s very formal…then the movie starts and the first joke comes up and it’s crickets, dead silence, and another joke, and it’s just dead silence…and this thing is not translating, you know, it’s subtitles.”

“The more that happened, the funnier it got to Ed and I. So we’re the a**holes in the back laughing at our own jokes.” The festival director squirmed with discomfort as he watched and eventually left the theatre without a word, which made Norton and Pitt crack up even more. “Oh, we had a good time.”

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The Critics’ Choice Association announced the nominees on Sunday morning and Leo was nomineted as a Best actor. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” earned 12 noms,

BEST ACTOR
Antonio Banderas – “Pain and Glory”
Robert De Niro – “The Irishman”
Leonardo DiCaprio – “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Adam Driver – “Marriage Story”
Eddie Murphy – “Dolemite Is My Name”
Joaquin Phoenix – “Joker”
Adam Sandler – “Uncut Gems”

The Critics’ Choice Awards gala, once again be hosted by Taye Diggs, will broadcast live on The CW Television Network on Sunday, January 12 at 7 p.m. ET.

And on Monday (09),  Leonardo DiCaprio received his 12th Golden Globes nomination when he was nommed for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

It was won of five nominations this morning for Tarantino’s ode to 1969 Hollywood, which Sony Pictures released in July and has grossed $372 million worldwide to date. Tarantino was nominated for both Directing and Screenplay, and Brad Pitt scored a Supporting nom.

DiCaprio has won three Globes, for 2005’s The Aviator, 2014’s The Wolf of Wall Street and most recently in 2016 for The Revenant, a victory he replicated later that year at the Oscars.

“I am humbled to be in the company of the other honorees,” DiCaprio said in a statement today. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a celebration of cinema, a film that would not exist without the vision of Quentin Tarantino. It is a love letter to the city of Los Angeles and the people who make this industry so incredibly special. A heartfelt thanks to the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this recognition.”

DiCaprio’s first Globes nom was in 1994 for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, one of two Supporting noms in the stretch including Tarantino’s 2013 film Django Unchained.

He is joined in this year’s Best Actor – Comedy/Drama race by Daniel Craig (for Knives Out), Roman Griffith Davis (Jojo Rabbit), Taron Egerton (Rocketman) and Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name).

The 77th Golden Globes awards ceremony will be hosted by Ricky Gervais on Jan. 5, 2020.

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Articles, Leonardo, News & Updates ♦ November 30, 2019

Without offering proof, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday said actor Leonardo DiCaprio had funded nonprofit groups that he claimed are partly responsible for fires in the Amazon this year.

Bolsonaro’s remarks about the American actor were part of a wider government campaign against environmental nonprofit groups operating in Brazil.

DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire,” the president said to supporters in Brasilia.

DiCaprio’s environmental organization Earth Alliance has pledged $5 million to help protect the Amazon after a surge in fires destroyed large parts of the rainforest in July and August. But the actor and committed environmentalist said in a statement sent to The Associated Press Friday his group had not funded any of the two nonprofits named by investigators so far.

“While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted,” the statement read. “The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them.”

DiCaprio offered a lengthier response to Bolsonaro in an Instagram post on Saturday morning. “At this time of crisis for the Amazon, I support the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage. They are an amazing, moving and humbling example of the commitment and passion needed to save the environment.”

“The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them. While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted. I remain committed to supporting the Brazilian indigenous communities, local governments, scientists, educators and general public who are working tirelessly to secure the Amazon for the future of all Brazilians,” he added.

 

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Articles, Leonardo, News & Updates ♦ July 22, 2019

The Hollywood Reporter

In an age of pre-branded franchises and social media currency, DiCaprio is a Hollywood unicorn, able to gross hundreds of millions of dollars without wearing a cape, wielding a lightsaber or even having an agent. Will Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ extend or break the streak?

In November 1997, six-plus weeks before Titanic opened in the U.S., 20th Century Fox launched the movie at the Tokyo Film Festival in hopes of gen­erating some early buzz in the largely untapped Asian market. Paramount chief Jim Gianopulos, who was running international distribution at Fox at the time, expected the theater to be crowded. After all, the film’s star, Leonardo DiCaprio, already enjoyed a budding global popularity thanks to the studio’s 1996 release Romeo + Juliet, which had earned $148 million worldwide — 69 percent of its haul coming from overseas. But Titanic‘s Japan bow was something more akin to Beatlemania.

“It was pandemonium. The entire area of Tokyo basically shut down, with fans coming out to see Leo,” Gianopulos recalls of the James Cameron-directed epic. “He started to be a heartthrob with Romeo + Juliet, but with Titanic, it just became insanity. It was the first time in history that a film was No. 1 in every single country in the world by a massive margin.”

Fast-forward 22 years, and DiCaprio remains a global movie star, one whose consistent bankability and acclaim set him apart from his peers. In fact, he is arguably the only global superstar left in a film industry in which an interchangeable group of actors regularly suit up in spandex or brandish a lightsaber for the latest billion-dollar earner — only to be ignored by audiences outside of franchises. Unlike waning megastars like Will Smith, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert Downey Jr., DiCaprio sits alone atop the Hollywood pantheon without ever having made a comic book movie, family film or pre-branded franchise. Leo is the franchise.

Now, after a four-year absence from the big screen following his Oscar-winning turn in The Revenant (a 151-minute R-rated film that earned $533 million worldwide), DiCaprio returns July 26 with Sony’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s adults-only interpretation of the Manson murders.

“One of the things I like about Leo is he just doesn’t plug himself into two movies a year,” says Tarantino, drawing an unstated comparison with current stars like Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, who are omnipresent on social media as well as in multiplexes. “He kind of stands alone today, like Al Pacino or Robert De Niro were in the ’70s, where they weren’t trying to do two movies a year — they could do anything they wanted, and they wanted to do this. So that means this must be pretty good.”

In other words, in an age of brand management, DiCaprio has cultivated a brand “of excellence,” says Sony film chief Tom Rothman, amid an industry where “brand” these days usually means Marvel, DC or Lucas.

“What is remarkable about Leo is his consistency,” says Rothman, who first worked with DiCaprio on Romeo + Juliet and Titanic at Fox. “If he’s in it, the audience knows it’s going to be good because he’s in it. I mean, when is he not great? But that’s not an accident. He works his ass off.”

Sources say DiCaprio took a $15 million upfront payday — $5 million less than his usual $20 million — in order to get Once Upon a Time made, but he stands to make north of $45 million if the film meets expectations (his deal is structured in a way that certain territories yield higher percentages than others).

DiCaprio’s ascent to the pinnacle of actors began well before Romeo + Juliet. A decade after appearing as a toddler on Romper Room, the baby-faced teen landed TV work, including a part on Growing Pains, which proved pivotal for two reasons: It led to him being signed by his manager Rick Yorn, who has guided his career for 27 years (DiCaprio is the rare A-lister who doesn’t work with an agent), and helped him land his first significant film role, the 1993 drama This Boy’s Life. That same year, at age 19, he co-starred in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, earning the first of his five Oscar acting nominations.

After the unprecedented success of Titanic — then the highest-grossing movie of all time — DiCaprio made a choice that would define his career over the next two decades: Instead of following up the blockbuster with a tried-and-true formula of tentpoles or high-concept thrillers, the Los Angeles native eschewed box office glory to work with the top directors in Hollywood.

That includes five feature collaborations with Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New YorkThe AviatorThe DepartedShutter Island and The Wolf of Wall Street) and multiple films with Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + JulietThe Great Gatsby) and Tarantino, who also directed him in Django Unchained. And his one-off collaborations represent a who’s-who of Oscar winners and nominees including Cameron, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan, Sam Mendes, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and Danny Boyle.

Among his compatriots, DiCaprio is by far the one most coveted by studio heads and top-tier directors, offering that rare blend of prestige (three of his past five films have been nominated for best picture) and box office prowess (those same films earned a combined $1.8 billion worldwide). While Smith is doing Netflix originals and a Disney remake, Lawrence is on a cold streak and Downey only makes money as Tony Stark, DiCaprio continues to choose films that would seem risky on paper — typically R-rated, longer than 2½ hours and with budgets topping $80 million — bets that have paid off and given him an unrivaled amount of power.

Before their collaboration on Gangs of New York, Scorsese found himself in a creative rut. He credits DiCaprio with reigniting his passion for filmmaking.

“He became the perfect muse. I was rejuvenated again,” Scorsese says. “A key thing about Leo — and I always tell him this — is he’s a natural screen actor. He could have been in silent films. It’s the look on his face, the look in his eyes. He doesn’t have to say anything. It just reads, and you can connect with him. Not everybody is like that.”

Tarantino first met DiCaprio in 1993 at the premiere of True Romance, which the Once Upon a Time helmer wrote. “He was kind of the man of the hour at that party,” Tarantino recalls of the days when DiCaprio first became a fascination of the paparazzi as Hollywood’s latest “It” boy. “He told me he thought the script was really terrific.”

They casually discussed working together and nearly did on 2009’s Inglourious Basterds(“That ended up not working out,” is all Tarantino will say). Ultimately, it took almost two decades before their collaboration came to fruition with 2012’s Django Unchained.

Unlike his Once Upon a Time character, the star’s ruthless slave owner Calvin Candie in Django was not written with DiCaprio in mind. “I had written Calvin Candie to be about 62 or 63 or something like that,” Tarantino remembers. “And then I heard that he wanted to meet me to talk about it. So, we got together and we talked about it, and I was at his house for a couple of hours. A relationship almost always starts at his house, sitting out in the back by the pool and talking about things. I was really interested, but I told him, ‘Look, I’m not going to be convinced right here because this is just such a big change.’ ”

Tarantino went home and gave it some thought, and DiCaprio’s pitch to play what Tarantino had originally envisioned as an old, crusty plantation master began to intrigue him. “I thought about him as being an evil, corrupt boy emperor like Caligula or a young Nero, just fiddling while Rome burns,” he says. “And that was like, ‘Oh wow, that’s an interesting idea!’ He has the power of life and death.”

While modern stars scramble to maintain a constant presence and relevance via social media and nonstop work spanning all platforms, DiCaprio as an actor sticks to cinema (he hasn’t acted for the small screen since a 1992 appearance on Growing Pains). Rather than using Twitter for self-promotion, he offers his 19.1 million followers updates on the Waorani tribe’s efforts to protect the Amazon from oil drilling or to promote vegan burgers.

Off-camera, DiCaprio has maintained a carefully crafted air of mystery. Some crewmembers on Once Upon a Time were instructed to avoid making eye contact with him, according to an on-set source. At the Cannes Film Festival in May, he brought his parents to the Once Upon a Time premiere but skipped other events on the Croisette despite having his security team do a sweep of a Nikki Beach party to promote the environmental documentary And We Go Green, which he produced with longtime friend Fisher Stevens, who says that they are in talks with John Kerry about producing an eco-minded series about threats to the world’s oceans.

Stevens says the public would be surprised by the depth of DiCaprio’s understanding of environmental issues, particularly climate change. “Leo is definitely into meeting people and talking to people on the cutting edge of this issue,” he says. “It’s definitely something he is passionate about.”

DiCaprio rarely talks about his personal life or even his career and typically promotes a film only in partnership with the director (he declined to be interviewed for this piece). Despite being one of the most photographed men in the world, hopping on a Citi Bike in New York or hanging out vaping with supermodels, little is known about his day-to-day life.

If he’s made a misstep, it was becoming entangled with Riza Aziz, whose Red Granite Pictures financed Wolf of Wall Street. In January, DiCaprio gave closed-door testimony to a Washington, D.C., grand jury regarding a multibillion-dollar Malaysian corruption scandal. In June, Aziz was arrested and charged in Malaysia with laundering $248 million from a state investment fund and channeling the funds into Red Granite bank accounts. It remains to be seen if DiCaprio will be dragged into any trials. Regardless, the Red Granite debacle appears to have had little effect on DiCaprio’s standing in Hollywood — agents will say privately that there is no actor or actress that they would rather put their clients next to in a movie.

Django producer Stacey Sher, who has known DiCaprio since he was a teen, notes that the intensity of his performances is no accident. “He makes it look effortless, but he’s that ‘10,000 hours’ and beyond, she says of the Malcolm Gladwell rule that explains success in any field. “I think everybody thinks of him as the greatest actor of his generation first, who happened to become the biggest movie star of his generation.”

It was playing the grizzled frontiersman Hugh Glass in Iñárritu’s dark, violent Western The Revenant that proved DiCaprio could still draw massive audiences despite leaving behind the boyish charm that made him a star. “He is a perfectionist and demands a lot of himself,” says Iñárritu of working with DiCaprio on The Revenant. “There was this scene in the river that he is meant to be floating, and there were huge pieces of ice. He never hesitated, and even when you got the take, he asked for another. He was relentless when it was sometimes not necessary.”

When it came time for Tarantino to cast Once Upon a Time‘s Rick Dalton, an actor experiencing something of a midlife crisis because he’s never lived up to expectations from his youth, the director was hopeful that the famously finicky actor would commit despite taking a four-year hiatus. “I absolutely had him in mind, but I didn’t know if I was going to get him,” says Tarantino. “I’m not presumptuous. I mean, everyone in the world wants him.”

Once Upon a Time producer Shannon McIntosh says there was only one scene that instilled fear in DiCaprio, albeit briefly: a sequence on a campy variety show called Hullabaloo that required singing and dancing. “We were about to walk into dailies one evening, and it was about a week before he had to do the Hullabaloo scene where he sings. And he stopped me and he said, ‘I’m not really a singer. How am I going to sing this in a week?’ Cut to a week later, he was absolutely fearless. He just got up and did something out of his comfort zone.”

Next up, DiCaprio is expected to reteam with Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon at Paramount. (Sources say salary and budget negotiations are at a critical juncture.) The film chronicles the FBI investigation into a series of 1920s murders in Oklahoma that likely were tied to oil deposits. In other words, it’s a film that would probably never be made at the studio level without DiCaprio.

“I’ve admired the fact that throughout all of this fame, all of this success, he has maintained his friendships, his relationships, his closeness with his parents,” says Gianopulos. “He is a truly lovely human being. Hollywood can change people, and it really hasn’t changed Leo.”

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