8,054 days since his first nomination, Leonardo DiCaprio finally has his coveted gold trophy.
The 41-year-old actor, who had previously received 4 Oscar nominations (5 if you include his nomination as producer), took home the Academy Award for his role as real-life 19th-century fur trapper Hugh Glass, who’s mauled by a bear and left for dead in “The Revenant”.
The long-awaited win was surely a surreal moment for DiCaprio, who received a rousing standing ovation from the crowd as he made his way onstage to received his “Best Actor” win. Leonardo took advantage of his acceptance speech to touch on climate change and was able to speak longer than his allotted time of 45 seconds when the producers failed to play the usual wrap-it-up music.
Taking to the stage, he said, “Thank you all so very much. Thank you to the Academy. Thank to all of you in this room. I have to congratulate the other nominees. The Revenant was the product of an unbelievable cast and crew.
“First off to my brother in this endeavor, Mr. Tom Hardy. Tom, your fierce talent onscreen can only be surpassed by your friendship offscreen. To Mr. Alejandro Inarritu, as the history of cinema unfolds, you have forged your way into history these past two years. What an unbelievable talent you are,” the actor added.
He then expressed gratitude to his team and people who were there “from the very onset” of his career, and his parents. He concluded his speech with a climate-change plea by saying that making “The Revenant” was essentially “about man’s relationship to the natural world…Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat affecting our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
“I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take this award for granted,” DiCaprio added, receiving another ovation.
Fox’s campaign for “The Revenant” placed heavy emphasis on how much DiCaprio endured for his craft – all crawling around in the dirt, chewing on raw bison liver, and braving sub-zero temperatures. He won over 4 other actors whose films, at least, featured plenty of indoor shooting: Bryan Cranston for “Trumbo”, Matt Damon for “The Martian”, Michael Fassbender for “Steve Jobs”, and last year’s winner Eddie Redmayne for “The Danish Girl”.
Like many others out there, we are super stoked for DiCaprio’s Oscar win not because it has been long overdue (well maybe a little, it’s been 22 years since his first nomination), but because his performance in “The Revenant” was undeniably brilliant.
Well deserved, Leo!
To find out who won what at the 88th Annual Academy Awards, head on over here.