Johnny Depp Says He ‘Tortured’ Leonardo DiCaprio

Johnny Depp Says He ‘Tortured’ Leonardo DiCaprio
Johnny Depp celebrityabc / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

“The Revenant” is not the first film where Leonardo DiCaprio got an Oscar nomination. His first was over two decades ago in his role as Arnie in 1993’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” with Johnny Depp.


Then 19-year-old Leo was one of the few youngest actors nominated as Best Supporting Actor by the Academy. However, it was only after 23 years and 8 Academy nominations where we’ll learn that the young DiCaprio was “tortured” by a young and nasty Depp.

Award-winning actor Johnny Depp was awarded with the Maltin Modern Master Award on Thursday, Variety reports. This event was held to officially start the 31st Annual Santa Barbara Film Festival roll call. Aside from accepting the recognition, Johnny Depp indulged the audience with a lengthy, rare, but fun talk about his life and career.

The “Black Mass” star answered questions and went on telling stories behind the most memorable films he did in the past. One of which was the “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” in 1993 with Leonardo DiCaprio. In the course of the chat with Johnny, we find out that the young Leo was all play and fun, as he was all into video games – a typical teenager. Yet amid his youth, Leo knows how to concentrate on the job.

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“I respect Leo a lot. He worked really hard on that film, researching and showing up ready to work — and I tortured him. I really did. He was always talking about these video games. ‘No, I will not give you a drag from my cigarette while you hide from your mother again, Leo,’ [I would say].” Johnny Depp added that he used to poke fun on the innocent actor.

Apparently, time changes people. It makes them more mature and learned. With Leo, for instance, playing games is a memorable part of his life, but little did he know, says The Huffington Post, that about four years following Depp’s “torture” would Leo come out as a mature, experienced, but subtle Jack in the 1997 film “Titanic.”

What Johnny Depp meant about this certain “torture” could be normal teasing between young actors, but this shows how Leonardo DiCaprio evolved and emerged into the performer he is now: focused and deserving enough to to bring home his own Oscar.

Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated for Best Actor for “The Revenant” in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, its ceremony taking place on February 28 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.