Who could ever forget Leo's turn as Johnny Depp's intellectually disabled little brother Arnie in the 1993 cult classic What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Depp and co-star Juliet Lewis may have been the main attractions, but DiCaprio — at only 19 years old — totally stole the show, earning him his first Oscar nod. And hey, anyone who can outshine Depp definitely deserves an Oscar in our book.
The year was 1996. The film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet hit theaters, and no middle-school girl was ever the same. No angsty teen boy could ever stack up to DiCaprio. When he defied the stars after finding Juliet dead (or so he thought), we thought we might die too.
Um, OK. You got us. This one is totally gratuitous. But seriously... look at that face! So emotive. So hot.
Yep, we were totally obsessed with Romeo + Juliet. Until, that is, DiCaprio shifted our obsession to his turn as free-spirited artist Jack Dawson in Titanic. Clearly, Leo knows how to pick 'em. This epic tale of the sinking of the RMS Titanic became the highest-grossing film of all time, thanks to being anchored by the fictionalized romance between DiCaprio and Kate Winslet's Rose. (Avatar surpassed it in 2010.) And, really, everybody appreciates a well-timed "I'm flying!" or "I'll never let go, Jack," now and then.
Leave it to DiCaprio to make being totally bats*** crazy look good. When he got caught up in the Lord of the Flies-esque drama of a secret island paradise in The Beach, we kind of wanted to wander around in the woods and set traps with him. Weird, huh? We blame it on his incredibly impressive spearfishing.
In 2004, DiCaprio took on the role of Howard Hughes in the Martin Scorsese-directed biographical drama The Aviator and earned himself another Oscar nomination. And again, he didn't win. What's up with that, Academy? The film may not have been a huge blockbuster, but the way DiCaprio portrayed Hughes' descent into madness was haunting. (We know he, er, it haunted our dreams, at least.)
No one can ever accuse DiCaprio of being afraid to tackle sensitive subject matter. In his third Oscar-nominated role, Leo starred alongside Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou in the 2006 political war thriller Blood Diamond. Amazingly — and we just think this speaks to his true magnetism as an actor — DiCaprio manages to make his sort of skeevy character, well, nearly endearing.
Oy. Revolutionary Road makes us want to curl up on the couch and cry into a roll of cookie dough, yet we just can't stop watching it. Why? DiCaprio and once-again co-star Kate Winslet turn in emotionally gripping — nay, obliterating — performances as stagnant suburban husband-and-wife Frank and April Wheeler.
We're not gonna lie. It took us about four times watching Shutter Island all the way through to catch all of the subtle nuances and hints DiCaprio so skillfully lays down like a trail of cookie crumbs. We're not going to spoil anything in case you live under a rock and haven't seen it yet, but suffice to say we're crazy about him as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels.
Django Unchained is a Quentin Tarantino film, so you know it's going to be filled with "I can't watch but I can't not watch either" moments and seedy characters that make you feel like showering. DiCaprio plays just such a character, but somehow makes Calvin Candie seem downright charming at times.
"I'm Gatsby." The GIF kind of says it all. We can't imagine anyone else who couldn't have stepped into the shoes of one of the most iconic literary characters ever and pulled it off with DiCaprio's panache.
C'mon now, y'all. DiCaprio was a-mazing in The Wolf of Wall Street. Yeah, yeah... Matthew McConaughey deserved to win for his role in Dallas Buyers Club — but Matthew McConaughey can't dance like this. Don't sweat it, Leo. With moves like this, you're a winner at life. Besides, we've always heard the fifth time's a charm.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!