Did you ever think Leonardo DiCaprio would provide the fodder for some pretty amazing parenting advice? The former child star has been nominated for 31 industry awards. Of those nominations, five have been for Academy Awards® and 10 for Golden Globes. He has won three of the awards he was nominated for. In a week we will find out if the Oscar® that has eluded him for his entire career will finally be his.
But 90% of the time Leonardo DiCaprio has lost. Or has he? Winning a trophy isn’t all there is to life. We know this, but more often than not our kids often need reminded of how to gracefully lose. Leo has a horrible record for winning film awards, but when it comes to winning at life and achieving? The kid has done all right.
How to Win: Life Advice from Leonardo DiCaprio:
1. KEEP TRYING NEW THINGS
In 1993 Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award® for his performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. He lost both times to Tommy Lee Jones for his performance in The Fugitive.
In a 1995 interview in Paper Magazine, Leo says: “Right now I just want to keep on growing and stretching and trying new things. It’s hard to sometimes not “do the right thing” all the time. I don’t want to do the right thing all the time because, I think, once you start doing that, then you’re: a) not happy with yourself, and b) you turn into what’s expected.”
2. DON’T DO DRUGS
In 1996 Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for a SAG Award for his performance by a cast in Marvin’s Room. They lost to the cast of Birdcage.
Recently Leo has made sure to remind us that he has never done drugs. You can find evidence of his strong feelings about drugs, and performers who used them in performance, as early as the mid ’90s. In an interview about Marvin’s Room, he was asked, “Are you anything like the dark characters you play?” Within his reply he shares, “I don’t take it to those extremes. I think that’s a path to destroying yourself.”
3. TAKE CHANCES
In 1997 Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for a SAG Award for cast performance and a best actor Golden Globe for his performance in Titanic. The cast lost the SAG Award to the cast of The Full Monty. He lost the Golden Globe to Peter Fonda for his performance in Ulee’s Gold.
In 1997 he spoke to ET about deciding to do such a MEGA film. “I traditionally have done smaller films and this, to me, was a completely new venture. I took a chance and tried something different. It definitely worked out, in my opinion, but I’ve never done anything of this caliber.”
4. ADMIT WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW SOMETHING
In 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance in Catch Me If You Can. He lost out to Jack Nicholson who won for his performance in About Schmidt.
He was asked in an interview about Catch Me if You Can and Gangs of New York (they were released very close together), “Are you feeling more confident about your own abilities at this point in your life?” Leo’s answer was so honest and without much ego. In part of his reply he says: “The more you grow up the more you realize how much you don’t know (he laughs), [that’s] the truth of the matter. Certainly, my commitment to what I do now is more intense than ever before. And maybe I get more security in that.”
5. KNOW YOUR HISTORY
In 2005 Leonardo DiCaprio’s turn as Howard Hughes in The Aviator brought him nominations for an Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award, Critic’s Choice Award, BAFTA Award, and SAG Award. He lost every award except one to Jamie Foxx for his performance in Ray as Ray Charles. Leo won a Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Performance in a Motion Picture. Jamie Foxx took home a Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy Performance in a Motion Picture.
In his acceptance speech Leonardo urges people to continue contributing relief to recent tsunami disaster. In 2004 Leo and the cast of Aviator spoke to Katie Couric. She asked him if he was a nerd. His answer was typical clever Leo. He shared, “I would say to some degree, yes, I am, Katie…”
6. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU BUY & WHO YOU BUY FROM
2007 was starting to look like it could be The Year for Leonardo DiCaprio. His performances in The Departed and Blood Diamond earned him nominations from the Academy Award®, Golden Globes, Critic’s Choice, BAFTA, and SAG. He lost to Forest Whitaker in every award show for Forest’s performance in The Last King of Scotland.
It could have been a devastating year for Leo, but he became focused on speaking out about environmental issues that were important to him. This was the year that 11th Hour, a documentary that Leo had been working on for ages, was finally released. In an interview with Thom Hartmann, one of the experts featured in the documentary, Leo talks about his reasons behind making the film. “It’s about getting people to understand that every time you pay for something, you’re essentially endorsing the way that company does business; you’re either endorsing new technologies, green technologies, or you’re not. And you not only can vote with your dollar, but you have vote for political leaders that of course are going to try to implement these things in our daily lives.” Leo won an International Green Award for this film.
7. CONNECT WITH THE PEOPLE YOU MEET
Revolutionary Road brought Leonardo DiCaprio a 2009 Golden Globe Nomination. Mickey Rourke won for his performance in The Wrestler.
Kate Winslet did take home a Golden Globe for Revolutionary Road and she gushed her love to Leo during her acceptance speech. Leo and Kate did multiple interviews and a ton of press for Revolutionary Road, and everyone had questions about their friendship. Their connection and banter was clear and genuine. When Leo spoke to GQ about some of the scenes in the film he said, “Certainly there have been some cruel words exchanged. And that’s what you draw on. Buddy, it’s the human things you draw on. We go through life, we meet certain people and have connections with them.”
8. PROTECT ANIMALS (SAVE THE TIGERS)
In 2011 Leonardo DiCaprio received nominations for his performance in J. Edgar. The Critics Choice and Golden Globe award went to George Clooney for his role in The Descendants and the SAG award went to Jean Dujardin for The Artist.
2011 was the year of the first ever Global Tiger Summit and Leonardo DiCaprio launched the cause into the spotlight by creating Save Tigers Now. In an interview outlining his connection to the cause, Leo explained, “Illegal poaching of tigers for their parts and massive habitat loss due to palm oil, timber and paper production are driving this species to extinction. If we don’t take action now, one of the most iconic animals on our planet could be gone in just a few decades.”
9. RAISE AWARENESS FOR CAUSES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU
For his performance in Django Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2012. Christoph Waltz won for his performance in the same film.
Leo continued to focus his attention on environmental issues. He partnered with La Colombe to launch Lyon, an environmentally friendly line of coffee beans. From the coffee’s website, “Through purchases of LYON, consumers will make a significant impact on projects that defend lands and oceans, clean water, help endangered species, aid disaster relief and support alternative and green energy efforts.” In a statement about the new product Leo said, “Raising awareness on the most pressing environmental issues of our time is more important than ever.”
10. BE YOU
All eyes are on Leonardo DiCaprio this year as he navigates awards season for his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street. He has been nominated for an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe, a Critic’s Choice Award, and a BAFTA. Chiwetel Ejiofor took home the BAFTA for 12 Years a Slave, but Leo won a Golden Globe Award and Critic’s Choice Award, and in a few days we will know how the Oscar® cookie crumbled.
Leo has given tons of interviews about his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street. In an interview with Esquire he shares: “Most recently, the last few years, I feel way more comfortable than I’ve ever felt. You always talk about that, and then one day you’re like: If they don’t like this, well, f___ ‘em. What can you do? It’s a resignation to life and who you are. Hey, look, I’m pretty well-formed as an adult now. I don’t have to impress anybody.”