Finally the mystery of Leonardo DiCaprio’s bizarre infatuation with the wilder reaches of environmental lunacy has been revealed. 1. His head was completely messed up by a freaky Hieronymus Bosch painting his parents hung above his crib when he was a baby. 2. He is quite exceptionally stupid — more stupid than even his most ardent detractors can hitherto possibly have imagined.
Here are some of the key take home points about Leonardo DiCaprio which have emerged from a fawning and no-doubt world-exclusive interview with Rolling Stone.
1. Leo thinks global warming is real because… famous, apocalyptic 16th century painting.
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio’s parents hung a painting above his crib in the grotty 1970s East Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles when he was a baby. The painting wasn’t an action shot of Peter Rabbit or Curious George. No, it was a reproduction of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch’s three-paneled “Garden of Earthly Delights,” a dystopian visual description of Eden being found and lost. It is one of DiCaprio’s earliest memories.
“You literally see Adam and Eve being given paradise,” says DiCaprio, his blue eyes peering above sunglasses in a Miami Beach restaurant that has somehow worked “SoHo” into its name. Underneath the table he fidgets his feet in and out of canvas loafers. He drifts away for a moment. DiCaprio just finished shooting an interview for a -climate-change film he’s making. (Original working title: Are We Fucked?) He’s already been to India flood plains and the Antarctica polar cap, and now he’s not far from Miami playgrounds where he once reputedly left a nightclub with every woman from his VIP section. All, according to DiCaprio, could be washed away.
He snaps back to the painting. “Then you see in the middle this overpopulation and excess, people enjoying the fruits of what this environment’s given us,” he says. He laughs a sad laugh punctuated by the DiCaprio smile that can be mistaken for a sneer. “Then the last panel is just charred, black skies with a burnt-down apocalypse.” He stops for a second before shrugging. “That was my favorite painting.”
2. Leo knows more than almost anyone about climate change. So says a completely neutral, unbiased and entirely reliable environmental activist and movie star.
“There are very few civilians who have the same understanding that this guy has of climate change. Leo’s a wonk,” says Mark Ruffalo, who has just combined forces with DiCaprio on the Solutions Project, a group of scientists and stars hoping to move America toward full-renewable-energy use. “He’s putting his ass on the line.”
3. If you’re going to use clever foreign words, Leo, at least take the trouble of discovering what they mean.
There’s a word in German that they don’t have in the English language that’s called schadenfreude. It means humiliation for somebody else.”
Almost, Leo. It means taking pleasure in the humiliation of someone else.
4. Because Leo is famous, people suck up to him for knowing what is actually pretty basic, entry-level stuff that loads of normal schoolkids know.
DiCaprio had grown up with a melancholy for extinct creatures – he once impressed Dr. Kirk Johnson, the director of the National Museum of Natural History, with his knowledge of the long-gone great auk, a bird hunted to extinction in the 1800s.
5. Leo is only clever relative to the guy they sent to interview him.
“I remember the thing that I got the most sad about when I was little was the loss of species that have been as a result of mankind’s intrusion on nature,” says DiCaprio, whose Los Angeles home features a massive fossil collection. He then mentions three species, only one of which I’d ever heard of: “Like the quagga or the Tasmanian tiger or the dodo bird.”
6. Leo’s environmental bloviating is a direct consequence of his sexual incontinence.
Like Warren Beatty, Robert Redford and Paul Newman before him, DiCaprio longed to be seen as something more than just a panty-dropper.
7. More crap a Yoda could not have chosen he.
A friend set up a meeting with Gore. The vice president sketched out the planet and the atmosphere on a chalkboard and told the actor, “You want to be involved in environmental issues? This is the most important thing facing all of humanity and the future.”
8. The world’s oceans are now so awash with campaigning celebrities it is literally impossible to have a scuba accident without a Hollywood actor swimming to your rescue.
A couple of years ago, DiCaprio met with a casual friend, the actor Fisher Stevens, once known as Michelle Pfeiffer’s ex and the ethnically dubious star of Short Circuit 2, but now an accomplished documentary producer. The two had become reacquainted while filming the disappearing reefs in the Galapagos, an event made memorable for DiCaprio’s scuba tank malfunctioning while shooting footage and DiCaprio desperately looking for someone to help him to the top. He (of course) found Ed Norton, who shared air with DiCaprio as they slowly ascended to avoid the bends.
9. Even after all the embarrassment, DiCaprio STILL hasn’t worked out what a Chinook is.
The links grew stronger as DiCaprio visited the hellish Alberta, Canada, tar-sand oil fields, several hours north of the breathless mountains and streams of the Revenant set. Meanwhile, filming was repeatedly hampered by a lack of snow as Alberta “enjoyed” the warmest winter on record. The connections left Iñárritu and DiCaprio shaking their heads as they suffered through multiple delays.
10. Unlike his waterside-property-owning mentor Al Gore, poor Leo actually believes all that rising sea levels shit…
Then they begin to talk. DiCaprio asks Levine if he’s worried about declining real-estate prices.
“I’m not going to preside over Miami Beach becoming Venice,” says Levine. “I think property levels are just going to continue to rise.”
DiCaprio doesn’t agree, saying he’d already unloaded his beach house: “I wouldn’t take that bet.”
11. Whatever Leo’s smoking, you really don’t want it. Too black. Too strong.
The conversation turns to places like Bangladesh that don’t have the money to deal with the rising waters. “The story of climate change is gonna be places with the most military power to protect their own resources,” says DiCaprio, hitting the vape pipe. “The billions of people that haven’t contributed to this problem are gonna be the first to suffer.”
12. Amid the stupidity Leo has occasional glimmers of personal insight.
“I had a friend say, ‘Well, if you’re really this passionate about environmentalism, quit acting,'” he says. “But you soon realize that one hand shakes the other, and being an artist gives you a platform.” He pauses and offers his palms upward. “Not that necessarily people will take anything that I say seriously [….]”
13. Leo understands that to save the city you’ve got to destroy it.
DiCaprio says goodbye to the crew and says he’ll see them in Paris for the climate-change conference. He knows that one of the first things conservatives will throw at him is the amount of fuel used by the thousands of attendees.
“There’s no way we’re not all hypocrites,” says DiCaprio. “We’ve built this. Our entire society is oil-based. Everything that you see is because of fossil fuels. The day there is a sustainable way to travel, I’ll be first in line.”
For DiCaprio, the trip was worth it. After the Paris Agreement was signed, he declared, “[This] gives us a shot at saving the planet. There is no time to waste. This marks the end of the fossil-fuel era.”
14. Monomaniacal bore? Lui?
On the way downtown, I mention that his intensity on global warming is, well, intense.
“You noticed that, huh?” he says.