19-Year-Old Leonardo DiCaprio Was Terrified After Receiving His First Academy Award Nomination — ‘I Told My Mom I Don’t Want to Go Up There’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio has acquired a number of awards for his stellar on-screen performances. By this level, he’s a seasoned professional with no qualms about getting on stage to just accept an award. 

However, initially of his profession, the story was fully completely different. Apparently, when he earned his first Academy Award nomination at 19 years previous, he was terrified of probably having to just accept an award on stage. 

Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe at solely 19 years previous

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

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DiCaprio’s spectacular efficiency in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape led to his first Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. The younger star was in disbelief when he first received the information, he revealed in a resurfaced 2014 Variety interview.   

“I didn’t even know what the hell was going on, to tell you the truth,” DiCaprio mentioned. “I just remember when they told me that I was nominated I was like, incredibly excited, shocked. …”

Leonardo DiCaprio was afraid of occurring stage to just accept an award

Even although DiCaprio was excited in regards to the nominations, he had an issue; he was terrified by the thought of getting on stage and having to just accept an award in entrance of “a billion” individuals. 

“My first reaction was ‘I just don’t want to go up on stage and accept anything,’ because they told me a billion people watched you give award speeches. … I told my mom ‘I don’t want to go up there, mom,’” DiCaprio mentioned. 

Leonardo DiCaprio had his ‘own set of rules’ for his ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ position

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DiCaprio had a unique strategy for his position in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Instead of strictly following the screenplay, he had the liberty to do no matter he felt was most genuine to the character.

“That role was so fun because I wasn’t dependent on the screenplay whatsoever,” DiCaprio mentioned. “I mean, I had my own set of rules, I could do whatever the hell I wanted. … Sometimes it was like, you know, a dramatic scene for Johnny, and I would just be throwing spaghetti in the air. And [Hallström] would say, ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know, this is what I’d be doing.’ He’s like, ‘Alright, you go for it.’ …”

DiCaprio beloved the fluidity of the position, calling it a “freeing” expertise. 

“It was incredibly freeing because … we paid attention to the script, but it was so loose,” DiCaprio added. “Everything was so incredibly loose and so improvisational, and I really just lived in my own world. It was great. It was awesome. It was a great experience.” 

Leonardo DiCaprio visited a house for mentally-disabled youngsters to arrange for ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ position

To put together for his position, DiCaprio hung out with mentally-disabled youngsters at a house in Austin, Texas. Afterward, he met up with director Lasse Hallström to speak about what he’d noticed. 

“I remember coming to him with this checklist, and it was like a hundred different little attributes that I learned from hanging out with these kids, and I said, ‘Will you just show me what you want me to do?’” DiCaprio mentioned. “He’s like, ‘No, why don’t you just act those out,’ so I did all of them and said, ‘I’m thinking of 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 24,’ and he’s like, ‘Okay, you do that, you do that.’ … ”

DiCaprio’s intensive analysis clearly paid off. There aren’t too many youngsters that may say they earned an Academy Award nomination at 19 years previous.  

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