No DiCaprio Greatest Hits would be complete without Titanic, the film that thrust Leo into international stardom and the hearts of millions. At the age of only 22, he performed perfectly as the doomed young Jack, saving Kate Winslet’s Rose not only from death but a loveless marriage and a miserable life. Granted, the film is almost overly romantic and certainly since 1997 DiCaprio has performed exquisitely in some more mature roles, but in years to come, it will be Jack and Titanic, the second highest grossing film of all time, which DiCaprio is truly remembered for.
Catch Me If You Can
In possibly his most suave role, the then 28 year old DiCaprio took on the role of Frank Abagnale Jr., a teenage conman. A huge success with the ladies, Frank goes on to con millions of dollars in his various positions as a committed detective attempts to pursue him. Starring alongside Hollywood royalty Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken and under the direction of Steven Spielberg, DiCaprio asserted his position as being worthy of playing with the big boys and presented his brilliant acting talent to tremendous reviews from audiences and critics alike.
In his fourth collaboration with legendary Taxi Driver director Martin Scorsese, DiCaprio demonstrates his versatility in a move away from previous adventurous and romantic roles and a further step into the genre of thrillers. This move took the form of Teddy, a 1950s federal officer investigating the disappearance of a patient at a hospital for the criminally insane. With the plot’s twists and turns, DiCaprio was handed a gift of a role of which he did not fail to do justice. The 2010 releases of both this and Inception reminded the world once more of DiCaprio’s incredible flair and talent.
Until Tarantino’s Django, DiCaprio mostly stuck to mysterious, rogue or loveable characters, but in his role as cruel plantation owner Calvin Candie, audiences were persuaded to hate him, probably for the first time. Within this role, DiCaprio truly proved his commitment to his art as in one scene he famously sliced his hand on a broken glass (later requiring stitches) but carried on in the take. His bloodied hand remains in the final cut of the film. Like numerous roles, DiCaprio’s performance as Candie confirmed once more that DiCaprio isn’t just a pretty boy.