Leonardo DiCaprio on Why He’ll Never Direct a Movie

Leonardo DiCaprio: Why 'The Revenant' Star
Chelsea Lauren/REX Shutterstock

Most actors harbor dreams of directing a movie of their own one day, but not Leonardo DiCaprio. For a recent cover story about “The Revenant,” which opens today in wide release, DiCaprio offered a lengthy explanation to why he didn’t think he’d ever make the transition to the director’s chair.

“I’ve been so blessed to work with some great filmmakers, that I’m probably cursed to probably ever work as a director myself,” DiCaprio, 41, said. “I don’t think I would be able to compare to what I’ve seen. There are so many things that come into play when you make a movie. I really don’t know how they do it. The truth is, the one thing I regret, if anything, in my long career having worked with the likes of Alejandro [G. Inarritu] and Marty [Scorsese] is not be able to be a voyeur and stand aside and watch what they do, because I’m only concerned about what the hell I’m doing every single day.”

“But,” DiCaprio continued, “it would have been wonderful to have someone document all the great experiences I had and learn from the decisions. That’s what you have to look for when you work with these directors. It’s these tiny little decisions that change something from being mundane.”

To read more from Variety’s “Revenant” cover, click here.

Watch our Q&A with Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro G. Inarritu:

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  1. Don says:

    Definitely two intrinsically unique things in themselves. I’m a writer/director and have done some acting but I would much rather be behind the lens.

  2. Filmmaking is “a collaborative” creative art-form; and, yet, the artist must intrinsically know every discipline if his education and/or work experience didn’t evolve from that source. (E.g., cinematographer a former photographer)

    Knowledge naturally begs experience whereby you have done coextensive filming, performed as an actor, study the nomenclature of music, be a student of lyrical poetry–most of which will come into play in post-production. Having these bits and pieces of film, sound recording (and music) to assemble into “a threat” that will entwine the audience into “an emotional patchwork quilt” is critical: an experience that people will want to share.

    A movie doesn’t have to be as good as it must be “watchable”. It’s not a “Zen thing” but make the viewer happy, horny, sad, lonely, nostalgic, hopeful…SOMETHING.

    The true “art” of filmmaking is choosing the proper collaborators for the project in hand; having a story to tell; and appear to tell it without effort. There’s more, of course…but asking an actor (for instance) to direct a movie because they’ve work with successful directors is the past, could be asking a student to conduct the class because he’s watched the teacher so often. It’s not the same thing.

  3. Greggan says:

    At least there’s one person in the business who doesn’t want to direct.

  4. Tony says:

    Shame he doesn’t want to direct because since he’s worked with all the greats (Spielberg, Scorsese, Raimi, Nolan, Scorsese, Cameron, Tarantino, Scorsese, Scott, Eastwood, Scorsese, Mendes, Iñárritu, did I mention Scorsese?) so some of their talent must have rubbed off on him.

    • Jake says:

      Damn that list is impressive. Lol. He’s certainly grown on me since Titanic.

      Good for him though realizing what he’s capable of and not just doing it for vanity sake.

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