Leonardo is promoting his new film ‘The Revenant’ which also stars Tom Hardy. The film was notoriously difficult to make and Leo says he was pushed to some extremes to make the film as believable as possible, which included lugging dead animal skins around and having to get into and out of frozen rivers:
“Moments? Every single day of this movie was difficult. It was the most difficult film I’ve ever done. You’ll see, when you see the film—the endurance that we all had to have is very much up on the screen. The hardest thing for me was getting in and out of frozen rivers. Because I had elk skin on and a bear fur that weighed about 100 pounds when it got wet. And every day it was a challenge not to get hypothermia.”
Leo famously had a brush with death when a great white shark almost reached him while he was cave diving in South Africa. He explains that he frequently seems to get into trouble:
“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. If a cat has nine lives, I think I’ve used a few. I mean, there was the shark incident …A great white jumped into my cage when I was diving in South Africa. Half its body was in the cage, and it was snapping at me…”
He remembers another frightening experience when a plane engine blew up right in front of him and the plane glided through the air without any engine:
“Then there was this Delta Airlines flight to Russia. I was in business class, and an engine blew up in front of my eyes. It was right after “Sully” Sullenberger landed in the Hudson. I was sitting there looking out at the wing, and the entire wing exploded in a fireball. I was the only one looking out at the moment this giant turbine exploded like a comet. It was crazy. They shut all the engines off for a couple of minutes, so you’re just sitting there gliding with absolutely no sound, and nobody in the plane was saying anything. It was a surreal experience. They started the engines back up, and we did an emergency landing at JFK.
Leo says he never gets used to his own fame:
“You know, the truth is, it’s very surreal. I don’t think anyone really gets used to being recognized around the world. It kind of feels like a videogame at times, especially with paparazzi and people following you and things of that nature. But it’s 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.”