The 41-year-old actor has been in the spotlight since he was a youngster and has won critical acclaim thanks to films such as Titanic, The Departed and Shutter Island. His fame means constantly being in the public eye and while many celebrities despise that area of their career, Leonardo has accepted that attention comes with being famous.
“You know, the truth is, it’s very surreal,” he told Wired. “I don’t think anyone really gets used to being recognised around the world. It kind of feels like a video game at times, especially with paparazzi and people following you and things of that nature.
“But its part of who I am now. It’s part of my life as long as I choose to do what I do as a profession, and I love what I do. I think I survive because I don’t limit myself. If there’s some experience I want to have or a place I want to go, I do it. I think that’s how I bring some semblance of normality to my life.”
His latest movie, The Revenant, has Leonardo hotly tipped to win an Oscar at next year’s (16) ceremony, having previously been nominated for a golden statue five times. He plays frontiersman Hugh Glass, who sets out for revenge on those who left him for dead after a bear attacked him. It wasn’t difficult for Leonardo get into the exciting tale while filming, as the star has had plenty of real-life near-death encounters himself.
“My friends have named me the person they least want to do extreme adventures with, because I always seem to be very close to being part of a disaster,” he laughed. “If a cat has nine lives, I think I’ve used a few. I mean, there was the shark incident…”
When quizzed on what the incident was, Leonardo recalled how a white shark got into his cage while he was diving in South Africa. The predator was mere inches away from him and Leonardo revealed the men who accompanied him had never seen anything like it in the 30 years they’d been diving.