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DICAPRIO. Continues to grow as an actor. photo by ruben v. nepales



Only in Hollywood
DiCaprio on no longer being the star of biggest movie of all time

By Ruben V. Nepales
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:26:00 02/05/2010

Filed Under: Cinema, Celebrities, Entertainment (general)

LOS ANGELES?Leonardo DiCaprio good-naturedly took a reporter?s reminder that he is ?no longer the star of the highest grossing movie of all time.? Thanks?or no thanks to ?Avatar??Leonardo?s ?Titanic? is not the all-time box-office champ anymore.

?Right,? acknowledged the actor with a smile in a recent interview at Le Parker Meridien in New York. ?First off, I congratulate those guys,? he said of ?Avatar? director, James Cameron, and his team. James, of course, also helmed Leonardo and Kate Winslet?s sinking-ship blockbuster.


?I didn?t really pay attention to all that until I read the headlines,? the actor admitted. ?Hats off to them. I hope they make triple what ?Titanic? made. I was blessed to have ?Titanic? get financing because my name was attached to it. The movie had its run. And, new records will be broken. Time goes on. The rest of cinema will unfold before our eyes. I am a fan of ?Avatar,? and I thought it was great. As an audience member, I had a unique experience.?

Since ?Titanic,? Leo continues to grow as an actor. His talent is being polished by his mentor, Martin Scorsese. Their partnership has given us four films: ?Gangs of New York,? ?The Aviator,? ?The Departed,? and now, the thriller, ?Shutter Island.?

The critics? verdict on this adaptation of Dennis Lehane?s 1950s-era mystery and suspense novel set on a remote island that houses an asylum isn?t out yet. But, we think there will be not much argument about Leonardo?s performance. Playing a tightly wound war veteran and US marshal who goes to the island to investigate the disappearance of a murderess, Leonardo lives up to the challenges of the complex role.

Asked about being the ?muse? of Scorsese, Leonardo answered, ?To have a mentor like Martin, who gave me a perspective on film as an art form, is great. These films are like his dreams. You learn a lot just by working with him. He never sits you down and gives you a lesson. It?s about being on the journey with him.?

Leonardo got to work with another gifted director, Christopher Nolan, in ?Inception,? one of this year?s most anticipated films. It?s the director?s first movie since the acclaimed ?The Dark Knight.? The 35-year-old thespian laughed when pressed to talk about ?Inception,? which is also a thriller like ?Shutter Island.? There?s a lot of secrecy about it.

?I don?t know what I?m allowed to say about ?Inception,?? the actor said after chuckling. ?I don?t even know what I?m allowed to say about ?Shutter Island,? to be quite honest.? Instead, he talked about the two filmmakers: ?Both Chris and Martin are great directors. The material and its complexity are what I?m attracted to. I?m not happy if I don?t have a lot to do. I?ve been lucky to work with people who want to tell stories that hit on different cylinders simultaneously. ?Shutter Island? is definitely that.?

Then, he finally commented on Chris? film: ??Inception? is the same. It is Chris delving into dream psychoanalysis and, at the same time, making a high-octane, surreal film that came from his mind. He wrote the entire thing, and it all made sense to him. It didn?t make sense to many of us when we were doing it. We had to do a lot of detective work (laughing) to figure out what the movie was about.?

Leonardo is definitely building an interesting filmography. He has said yes to an untitled movie project on the Vikings, with Mel Gibson as the director.


?There?s no script yet,? he disclosed. ?Mel is a visionary. He has created some unbelievable worlds. What he did in ?Apocalypto? and ?The Passion of the Christ??he?s quite unique, so we?ll see what happens. I?m excited to see the outcome.?

?A story on the Vikings hasn?t been done for some time,? Leonardo added. ?Mel is the perfect director. He has been obsessed with the Vikings and their culture his entire life. He?s had visions of it.?

On a lighter note, what about visions of the bachelor actor?as a married man with children? Laughing one more time, he replied, ?That?s going to happen someday. When it?s right, it?s right.?

E-mail rvnepales_5585@yahoo.com.

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