Leonardo DiCaprio is no stranger to Oscar nominations, but he has a history of being snubbed and overlooked. This year he's nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, which some are deeming the "performance of his career." In a new interview with Deadline, DiCaprio addresses this notion as well as the success of the film.
"It's good to do films that have something to it that doesn't rely on a franchise, that are about the world we live in," DiCaprio said of his career. "I got to do films like The Aviator or Blood Diamond. Films like that. You would be hard-pressed to get Blood Diamond made right now. I can understand ultimately how studios look at it. They are more risky but ultimately I think audiences are yearning for something that, as long as boundaries are pushed and chances are taken, they are going to be coming to the theatre to see what all the talk is about. In a lot of ways the controversy over this film has helped the box office. It's created a dialogue."
When asked if his latest role was a career-defining role, he explained: "I wouldn't state it like that, but I would say this is a culmination of a lot of the work I've gotten to do with Marty , and it took a lot more risks than anything I've ever done."
Though he's nominated this year, Leonardo was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category at the age of 19 for his role in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Thinking of his nomination this year, the actor was reminded of his first time at the ceremony.
"Things just happened so quickly. Out of nowhere a nomination came about and I remember being completely shocked," he recalled. "My first reaction was being terrified of ever having to go up on stage in front of a billion people. Someone said 'a billion people watch this' and I thought 'oh my god, it's not like doing a movie where you get a second or third take'. Everyone's watching every word that you say. That was my initial reaction to it. It's a nerve-wracking thought."