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Across a career forever marked by brilliance, whether as a baby-faced young man in the 1990s or as a versatile actor capable of endless nuanced performances, Leonardo DiCaprio has emerged as one of contemporary Hollywood’s greatest stars, a position that he seems to cement with every performance he commits to.
DiCaprio has practically weaved himself into the very fabric of our collective cultural consciousness with phenomenal performances in the likes of Titanic, Gangs of New York, The Aviator and The Wolf of Wall Street, and by proxy, he’s been afforded the chance to work with some of cinemas greatest directors, mostly notably, his frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese.
Back in 2000, when DiCaprio was still a young actor, he was asked about the famous people he had met so early into his career and life in the spotlight. Naturally, as one of the hottest properties in Hollywood at the time, it seemed like every other star had been trying to meet the young actor, which led DiCaprio to not really knowing who he’d like to have met.
Eventually, though, he had to turn his attention to the person he’d love to have met, even though he had died by that point. “There are a lot of people I’d love to have met,” DiCaprio told Rolling Stone. “I’d love to have met Basquiat; that would have been dope.” But in terms of living persons (at the time), DiCaprio couldn’t help but name one of the greatest actors of all time for his dream meeting.
“In terms of people now, oh, God, who haven’t I met?” the actor continued. “I’d love to meet Marlon Brando”. Even as one of the emerging stars, DiCaprio had still not met Brando, who at that point was only four years away from his final day on earth. Still, that was enough time for DiCaprio to wax lyrical about the iconic actor and express his admiration for him. He noted: “He was, dare I say it, the best”.
DiCaprio did admit that he was more of a James Dean fan than Brando. Still, Dean had already died by 2000, so Brando had taken the position of the “best” living actor, at least in the eyes of DiCaprio. However, several other cinema fans and figures within the industry would agree.
Brando, like DiCaprio, established himself as a true cinema icon, delivering countless memorable performances over the years. From A Streetcar Named Desire to The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, Brando was an actor who managed to transcend the very limits of the screen, and it’s for that precise reason that he’s drawn the admiration of Leonardo DiCaprio.