Leonardo DiCaprio on his Oscar nomination, Brad Pitt and being cool with Ricky Gervais

Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES -- 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 supporting turn in Quentin Tarantino's film. The actor, who took home the coveted trophy for his leading role in 2016's "The Revenant," said he woke up at his home in Los Angeles a couple of hours after the nominations were announced.

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

A: 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.

Q: When you won an Oscar in 2017, you seemed very moved during your acceptance speech. Does Oscar recognition really mean a lot to you?

A: 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.


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

A: 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.

Q: 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?

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


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