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 The Thinking Superstar

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Jennaceeta21

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Number of posts : 672
Age : 32
Registration date : 2008-10-11

PostSubject: The Thinking Superstar   Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:17 pm

November 18th, 2008


He’s on the A-list for being an activist as well as being a sex symbol, but Leonardo DiCaprio tells Steve Pratt that being the subject of screaming fans is an out-of-body experience.

LEONARDO DiCaprio has never quite conformed to what Hollywood expects of A-list stars and the leading man in the highest-grossing movie ever, Titanic. Not for him blockbuster after blockbuster. He thinks about subject matter rather than potential commercial success. Sometimes the two come together, but he’s made it clear than he prefers pictures that are edgier or more meaningful. This stance has earned him names like The A-list activist as well as A-list sex symbol, and he’s as likely to be found making an environmentally-themed documentary, The 11th Hour, as being directed by Martin Scorsese in The Gangs Of New York and The Aviator.

Off-screen, one night – his first in London last week – you’ll see him photographed arriving back at his hotel at four in the morning after a night out partying, and the next night escorting his mother to the premiere.

His latest film, Body Of Lies, combines both action and a contemporary issue, as a thriller set against the backdrop of the war against terror. DiCaprio plays a US intelligence agent chasing terrorists across the Middle East.

We meet shortly after the day of the US Presidential election and DiCaprio, in the middle of a European press tour for Body Of Lies, “couldn’t be more excited”, he says.

“I got to watch the election in Rome, where I watched the 2000 debacle. I stayed up all night and watched the results come in. It was an overwhelming, resounding victory for our new, fantastic president Mr Obama.”

An equally appreciative, presidential-style welcome came from hundreds of girls greeting him at the London premiere, which he judges was the biggest turnout on the European tour.

He’s used to screaming fans by now. “Most of the time, it’s an out-of-body experience,” he says.

“It’s fantastic to see a reaction like that, but it feels like another person sometimes, because you do these movies and you’re off on location for many months at a time, and then there’s this image up on screen.

“I certainly have a great appreciation for it, and I feel very lucky to do what I do, and have people come out and support me like that.”

He’s also a great admirer of director Ridley Scott and his working methods. Often actors are waiting around for the director to make up his mind, but he found Scott “so precise. He trims so much of the fat out of the film-making process that none of it’s a waste of time. Everything he does, he instinctively reacts to immediately. The end result is you walk away from making a movie probably a month-and-a-half shorter than most film-makers would make it.

“He sets up multiple camera angles, has you covered from every different angle, he’s able to control 20 different departments simultaneously.

It makes you, as an actor, trust your instincts more because he trusts you and relies on you to know your character and how they will react in any given situation that he throws at you. That instills a confidence in you.

“It’s a great working relationship and it’s different from most directors I’ve worked with, but it’s exhilarating and I’d love to do it again.”

Physically, DiCaprio has done roles similar to the one in Body Of Lies. He did most of his own stunts and his “big” injury story is that he caught a cold, thanks to the interrogation – he prefers not to call it torture – scene.

He talked to the ex-head of the CIA and agency operatives about what a person would do in that situation. “What would he reveal to the enemy? Would he be thinking about his country or his own survival? What would the enemy try to extract from him information-wise? Is he just a tool or a puppet?,” recalls DiCaprio.

“And all this stuff was culminating in a threeday, really hard sequence that was shot in a tomb underground in the middle of Morocco – and I got a chest cold afterwards.”

DiCaprio isn’t about to draw comparisons between acting and fighting for your country.

But, unusually for a Hollywood star, he is willing to consider what it’s like to be famous and be followed around by the paparazzi.

“The general consensus among people who are blessed enough to be able to do what we do is we entirely understand that, although you may hear the odd complaint here and there. We entirely understand that it comes with the territory and the responsibility of doing what we do, otherwise we would quit,” he says.

“We’re a very fortunate and lucky group of people who have very little to complain about, especially when you talk about the comparison to people who are risking their lives to save our country. It’s impossible to compare.”

Body Of Lies sees DiCaprio reunited on screen with Russell Crowe. The pair previously worked together as newcomers to Hollywood in the western The Quick And The Dead in 1995.

DiCaprio was 18 and fresh from an Oscar nomination for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, Crowe was a rising Aussie actor known for the violent drama Romper Stomper. All of a sudden they found themselves making a big budget movie with Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman.

“Russell and I formed a friendship because we didn’t know where to fit in – we didn’t belong to the character actor group or the movie star group,” he says.

“I remember talking to him about movies a lot back then, the kind of actor that he wanted to be, what type of films he liked. He’s the same guy he was back then. He’s incredibly funny, committed to his work, a fantastic actor, great to be around.”

DiCaprio has also got back together with Titanic co-star Kate Winslet in the forthcoming Revolutionary Road, well aware of the talk that their re-pairing would stimulate. The two have remained friends since making that movie.

“We both knew very well the territory, all the stuff that would come with us working together again, but this was a unique piece of material in the sense that, as far as a relationship movie goes, it’s diametrically opposed to what we’d done before. It’s the fragmentation of a relationship, the disintegration of two people who are battling to try and stay together.”

But, as much as he’s happy to talk movies, DiCaprio is more excited about the prospect of Obama moving into the White House. He thinks the President-elect has the potential to change not only everything in the US policy-wise in a new, positive direction, but also that his appointment will have ramifications around the world.

“What is beautiful for me to see, especially on this tour, is how supportive the rest of the world has been about Obama winning. It’s a really special time in my life to watch this historic event and it’s been amazing to see the world’s reaction. It’s been more profound than I could ever have imagined.”

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/leisure/entertainment/film/features/3864815.The_thinking_superstar/
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Julie McCall

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PostSubject: Re: The Thinking Superstar   Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:36 pm

thats what I read.
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