It took six Academy Award nominations and 22 years later for the world to finally hear: “And the Oscar goes to … Leonardo DiCaprio”
The audience clapped and gave DiCaprio a standing ovation as he went on stage to accept the Academy Award for Best Actor for “The Revenant”. Viewers around the world were happy and excited that the Titanic star finally won the industry’s highest honor in acting. Four of DiCaprio’s six Oscar nominations were for Best Actor, one for Best Supporting Actor and one for Best Picture (as a producer for “The Wolf On Wall Street”).
The now Oscar winner beat Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”), Matt Damon (“The Martian”), Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”), and reigning Best Actor winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”) to win his first-ever Academy Award.
“Thank you all so very much. Thank you to the Academy, thank you to all of you in this room. I have to congratulate the other incredible nominees this year for their unbelievable performances,” DiCaprio first stated in this speech.
DiCaprio also thanked everyone involved in the making of The Revenant and gave shoutouts to both his co-star, Tom Hardy, who was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the film; and to the film’s director, Alejandro Innaritu, who won his second consecutive Academy Award for Best Director that night. In addition, DiCaprio thanked his family, friends, and people who have helped him throughout his entire career.
“I have to thank everyone from the very onset of my career… to Mr. [Michael Canton] Jones for casting me in my first film to Mr. [Martin] Scorsese for teaching me so much about the cinematic art form. To my parents, none of this would be possible without you. And to my friends, I love you dearly, you know who you are,” DiCaprio said in his speech.
An avid environmental activist, DiCaprio promoted the political issues of climate change in the rest of his acceptance speech. With 2015 being an extremely hot year, DiCaprio mentioned the filming of The Revenant was “about man’s relationship to the natural world” and as a result of the heat, filming had to move from Canada to South America in order to find snow to film on. He highlighted the need to work collectively together since Climate Change is the most urgent threat facing all species.
“Climate change is real, it is happening right now…We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would 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. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted. Thank you so very much,” DiCaprio said at the end of his acceptance speech.
Once 2015 Best Actress winner Julianne Moore revealed that Leonardo DiCaprio had finally won the Oscar, social media sites like Instagram and Twitter were filled with congratulatory posts and tweets from various celebrities and fans. DiCaprio’s first Oscar win surpassed Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie for the most tweeted moment in Oscar history with 440,000 tweets per minute, according to a report by Twitter.
Most notable of the posts were those of DiCaprio and his Titanic costar, longtime friend, and former Oscar winner, Kate Winslet, embracing immediately after his win, like they did at the Golden Globes, SAGS and BAFTAS. Winslet, who was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Steve Jobs,” was seen tearing up during DiCaprio’s acceptance speech.
“And also I feel very strongly that it may possibly be Leo’s year. And he is my closest friend in the world and I just couldn’t imagine not being there to support him,” Winslet said in an interview with BBC weeks prior to the Oscars.
-To see DiCaprio’s Acceptance speech, click here.