After years of anticipation and an undignified amount of admittedly hilarious Internet trolling, the wait is over: Leonardo DiCaprio has finally won an Oscar. Last Sunday, Leo won ‘Best Actor’ for his role in The Revenant over fellow nominees Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Matt Damon (The Martian), and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo).
Before his recent victory, DiCaprio was nominated for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, and The Wolf of Wall Street, but by some odd twist of fate he was never successfully granted an Oscar. In The Revenant, Leo’s character is left for dead by his hunting team after he was viciously mauled by a bear. Severely injured and struck with vengeance, he depends on his survival skills to track them down. I suppose Oscar-less actors should take note that all they need to do to win an Oscar of their own is be attacked by a wild animal, sleep naked inside an animal carcass and eat raw bison liver. Who knew it was that simple?
Along with DiCaprio, the entire world has been waiting for this day to arrive. Leo has actually been dubbed “king of memes” due to the sheer number of memes created about his undeserved lack of Oscars, and this year there was even a game created surrounding his desperate chase for one ( it’s so addictive!). It’s somewhat needless to say, then, that despite DiCaprio’s win marking the end of an era for Oscar-less Leo jokes, that the internet exploded with joy.
Though his achievement alone is an extremely special moment in history, what makes it so much more uncharacteristically special is how he chose to accept his Oscar after all this time. In his acceptance speech, he gave the customary ‘thank you’ to the academy, his family and friends, but chose to use majority of his precious 45 seconds (yes, this was the time limit for speeches this year) to selflessly address the growing issue of climate change, something he’s been passionate about for years.
“Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”
Seriously, though, can everybody just take a second to appreciate the greatness that is Leonardo DiCaprio? Congratulations Leo, we can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!
Written by Arianna Rossi