Leonardo Dicaprio Curated

American actor and producer

CURATED BY :  

This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Leonardo Dicaprio have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Leonardo Dicaprio's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming actors. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • What comes to mind when you hear the word Hollywood? And do you have a favorite spot in Hollywood?

    I mean so many things, my whole existence. (laughs) I grew up and was born in Hollywood, grew up by Hollywood Billiards, Hollywood and Western. What was interesting growing up in that time period is, and also seeing 1969 Hollywood, which I always had like a glamorous sort of idealized imagination of, was how downtrodden it was when he recreated 1969 Hollywood, with the tie-dye and the hippies and the head shops and this sort of subculture that was brewing. And I guess that carried into the 80s where I grew up. But interestingly enough, I always say this, the only reason that I am an actor is because I live in Hollywood. I had dreams of becoming an actor, but I never felt part of that club, it was always something that was weirdly intangible. And if it wasn’t for the sheer proximity of going to a school and having my mother drop me off to auditions, I would have never been able, I would have never uprooted myself from Iowa or Missouri, with these grand Gold Rush dreams, backpacks on, (laughs) to come to Hollywood like so many others, it was literally the fact that my mother said okay, let’s, I want to go on auditions, and she took me from school straight to auditions after school.

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  • The Leonard DiCaprio Foundation has been around for 20 years. Looking back, what are you most proud of, of the work you have done?

    The supporting of a lot of indigenous communities, they are on the front lines for example, what is going on in Brazil right now with this new administration that wants to enter the Amazon with not only hydroelectric dam and mining and cattle farming, that would mean the disintegration of the fabric and web of life, of the last lungs of earth. And we need to support those indigenous tribes that really are the last stronghold in retaining these places from disappearing forever. And we give, I won’t talk about the specific number that we gave away, you can research that, but we gave over 200 different grassroots organizations that aren’t a part of a massive bureaucracy most of the time and supported the local communities that are fighting for not only their existence but the habitat and the bio-diversity that lives there.

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  • Are you still optimistic? Because we are all crossing our fingers.

    It’s incredibly hard to be optimistic, I’ll tell you that much. Like I said, so much of my life is devoted to these issues and I get, with my foundation work and being outspoken about this stuff, I’m inundated every single day with a new cataclysmic turning point in the history of civilization, these are unprecedented moments. And it’s hard to remain optimistic. Hopefully soon an administration will come into play that, the United States, there are few players in here, there’s China, the United States, there’s India, there’s Europe, we need to step up to the plate as a country and set an example, we have been saying this for decades and decades. And I don’t know what needs to be more clear scientifically to the world community, I mean 99 percent of the scientific community is complete agreement that man’s contribution to carbon emissions is causing this. We can only hope, that’s all we can do, we can only hope and keep fighting.

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  • The film business has been turned on its ear. You see what is happening as a good thing?

    I actually am looking forward to…not necessarily looking forward to, but I think they’re going to find a way to be able to give some of these great artists the ability to give people a true communal experience of watching a movie. Much like the concert experience with music, but also, through a subscriber-based model say, to have a plethora of wealth to finance new and intriguing ideas, and do a film like The Irishman, where I wonder if a lot of the other players out there in the industry would’ve financed that film.

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  • You weren’t born in 1969, but the movie reflected Quentin’s memory of hippie culture and movies at that time. You explored the movie business in the period of Howard Hughes for The Aviator. And you see all the disruption going on right now. What’s better or worse about that glamour of old Hollywood in 1969, compared to today?

    I mean, if we’re going back to the ‘30s and ‘40s the thing that people often take for granted is how most actors were under contract to do movies, and as much as we think they had all of this artistic choice it was a constant battle of the studio system to let yourself out to go do a passion project. It was a chess game for how you employed, and they were churning films out like there was no tomorrow. That, in comparison with today, I think that we have a plethora of opportunities now, with the exception of the ability to watch them theatrically in a communal experience. I mean the types of films that aren’t major tentpole experiences.

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  • There was an ease in Rick Dalton’s relationship with his stuntman Cliff Booth. Whether it’s competitiveness or something else, what did acting with a fellow Alpha male superstar like Brad Pitt bring out in you?

    What was very interesting about working with Brad was this strange inherent comfort and ease that we really both clicked into day one. It didn’t need a lot of prep work. We talked about the script, and we instinctively knew that dynamic and relationship, and who these guys were to one another. We both have been in those situations and have had and have those relationships on set. Also, these two guys go off and spiral off into their own side stories, and then they reconnect. But with Brad, he’s an incredible professional. There was a lot of improvising between us, and neither of us had this sense…I don’t want to speak for him but I will because I know it will be the same answer. There was no, I’m going to try to top you, or I’m going to piss all over this parade. It was, how do we make this a realistic dynamic because we were going off and doing our own side stories. I did a whole other film, and then Brad did a whole other film, and then I’d come in weeks later and pop back and say what’s up to him, and do a scene together. After we had done two completely different movies. It doesn’t seem that way but it’s really what happened. I went off and did that whole Lancer set thing for months, and then he did his whole thing.

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  • There seems such a randomness to success. Those producers at Growing Pains might not have let you out to film that role; Tom Selleck couldn’t do Indiana Jones because of his Magnum, P.I. commitment and it changed the course of his career, for instance. Every actor your age wanted that role, to work with De Niro. How often do you look back and think, wow I am lucky to be here?

    Not only do I look back and say I’m lucky, I think it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I, at the time, didn’t realize how thankful I should be to the people of that show, including the late Alan Thicke, along with the rest of the cast and producers who championed me to have the ability to go do that movie. I had a couple more episodes to do, contractually. Here they let this 15-year-old go do this film that I was lucky enough to get. I mean, are you kidding me? Without that opportunity, I don’t know. I don’t know what my career would’ve been, so I am thankful at how goddamn lucky I was. And appreciative, too. I mean, as an adult you say, goddamn am I appreciative.

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  • So, are you a pessimist?


    ‘No. I’m hopeful that we’ll evolve as a species. But there is something about human nature that is very destructive.’

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  • You supported President Obama.You’re a committed environmentalist. Would you consider running for political office? 


    ‘I don’t know about that. I’ve been making this documentary on climate change for the last two years. If there was anything that I felt that I could do that would really contribute to what I think is the most important issue in human history – climate change – then I would love to take a higher position with it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean political office. I think that a lot of the change needs to come from communal efforts, from groups and people who are trying to rattle the system. I think change is going to have to come from outside. You can’t depend on politicians to make the right decisions.’

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  • You’re 41 now. What’s still on the to-do list?

    
‘Right now, on my to-do list is to take a little 
time off.’



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  • The Leo-mania years, around the time of ‘Titanic’ in the late ’90s. It’s what the internet calls them.


    ‘Really? It was a very surreal period. It was bizarre. I took a break for a couple of years because it was so intense. I needed to recharge and refocus.’

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  • What about ‘Titanic’?


    ‘I think “Titanic” was me veering away from the independent movies I was doing and trying something different. It was about saying: “Okay, how do I use this opportunity to finance a film that I’m incredibly passionate about?” I think my ability to recognise great directors, or great material, has gotten better. Hopefully I’ve gotten better as an actor as the years have gone on, but the type of work I want to do has never changed.’

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  • People talk about the difference between being an actor and being a movie star. You seem to have spent your thirties trying to shed the skin of a movie star with the kind of films you make. 
Is that fair?

    
‘You know, the truth is that my attitude about the films I want to make has never changed. I made the same choices when I was 15 that I make now.’

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  • Which of your early films are you most fond of, looking back?


    That was 25 years ago, I was 15 years old, and I remember every single detail. Everything was so new to me. Watching Robert De Niro on set, seeing his dedication, was one of the most influential experiences of my life.’

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  • You grew up in a tough part of LA, and have said you felt like an outsider as a kid. Has that feeling stayed with you in Hollywood?

    Do you ever still feel like that? 
‘I think I will always feel like an outsider. Marty [Scorsese] was the same. He came from the streets of New York and didn’t feel like he belonged in Hollywood. I can remember getting rejected systematically by casting directors as a young kid. I felt like the biggest outsider there ever was; that I’d never belong in that club. I had this idea that one day they reach out, bless you and say: “You are now part of this elite, you are the chosen one.”’

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  • You were 19 when you were nominated for an Oscar for ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’. Did you have a speech ready?

    ‘No! I had absolutely nothing prepared. I didn’t think there was a shot in hell I’d get it. It would have been an absolute catastrophe if I had.’

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  • What would it mean to you to win an Oscar?

    ‘Honestly? It’s never ever what I’m thinking about when I’m making movies. There’s nothing I’ve done for the specific reason of getting an award. Every single time you just go in there trying to bat a thousand, trying to give it your all.’

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  • Are you an outdoorsy, get-up-at-5am-for-a-hike kind of guy?

    
‘I wouldn’t say 5am, but I’m definitely outdoorsy. I love being immersed in nature, going to places in the world that are pristine and untouched by man. It’s almost a religious experience when you go to a place like the Amazon and there’s no civilisation for thousands of miles.’

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  • You were filming out in the elements. Any near misses?

    
‘The whole movie! But the real nemesis was the cold, every single day. I had a special machine I called “the octopus”, which was like a giant hairdryer with eight tentacles that I warmed my body with between takes.’

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  • It’s a gruelling movie to watch. On a scale of one to ten, how tough was it to make?

    
‘Ten. But we all knew what we were signing up for. We couldn’t recreate this with CGI. We all knew that we were stepping into a “Fitzcarraldo”, “Heart of Darkness” type of experience.’

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  • You put yourself through a lot making ‘The Revenant’. In one scene your character is so hungry that he eats raw liver. Did you do that? Eat raw liver?

    
‘I did. Because the fake liver they gave me didn’t look real. Arthur, the Native American actor I was working with, had been eating liver all day while I was sitting there eating a big piece of Play-Doh. I had to give it a shot. But I only did it twice, and my reaction is up on screen. That’s instinct.'

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  • Leonardo DiCaprio’s reaction at the Golden Globe awards event

    Leonardo DiCaprio’s hilarious reaction at Golden Globes Awards event went viral instantly. It took the internet by storm. As Lady Gaga was called to receive the award, he was laughing uncontrollably and looked at her with a tilted face and strong expressions. When she was going on stage, he raised his eyebrows. Later on, the same was revealed to him, after the event.

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  • Funny moment during the filming of Titanic

    Leonardo DiCaprio lip-synced the director’s words while standing beside him. While he was describing Kate’s scene with Julio, DiCaprio stood there and made faces and got caught on the camera. Moreover, the one who was instructing also could not control his laughter.

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  • You traveled around the world for this film. What message do people have for Americans?

    We need to vote for leaders who understand the serious issues impacting our climate—and for leaders who believe in the undeniable truth of science. No nation or society is immune from the symptoms of climate change. America is in many places already feeling the impacts of it: droughts in California, rising seas in Miami, more extreme storms in the Gulf of Mexico. We can still prevent these crises from becoming a widespread challenge in the future of our country. We have an opportunity to lead the world on one of the most crucial issues of all time.

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  • How can an issue like climate change attract more sustained attention?

    There is no issue this important—because the future of the planet is at stake. We have no planet B. The energy we focus on solving climate change and the pressure we place on global leaders to lead on the question will help create a sustainable and livable environment for the long term.

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  • Whom do you hope to reach with the film?

    We all have a role to play in saving our planet. This film is meant to educate everyone, from global leaders to everyday citizens, on the threat of climate change. There are practical steps we all must take—today—to hasten the adoption of renewable and clean-energy technologies across the planet. For the film we interviewed inspiring figures, from Pope Francis and President Obama—who both have the ability to galvanize millions of people—to activists like Sunita Narain, a tremendous voice in India who’s calling for her country to be part of a global solution.

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  • You're making a 3-D version of The Great Gatsby in Australia with Baz Luhrmann at the moment. What drew you to Gatsby?

    The idea of a man who came from absolutely nothing, who created himself solely from his own imagination. Gatsby's one of those iconic characters because he can be interpreted in so many ways: a hopeless romantic, a completely obsessed wacko or a dangerous gangster intent on clinging to wealth through Daisy.

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  • Are you interested in an Eastwood-style directing career?

    It takes the type of temperament that Clint Eastwood has, because you're not just focused on yourself. I want that challenge one day.

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  • Given that both you and Clint have probably had stories told about you that were embroidered for dramatic effect, did you have qualms about doing that to somebody else's life?

    You have to make character choices. That's what artistic license is. But yeah, I imagine if I were to see a movie about my life, there would be many things I'd argue with. There's how history records what you did, but there's also what your real intent was. That's a complex web.

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  • Does your participation in this movie reflect your politics?

    [Director] Clint Eastwood and I and Dustin have different ideas on politics, and we didn't bring those to the table. For me, it was more a portrait of a man who protected his own secrets but spent his life infiltrating other people's.

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  • This movie opens with terrorist acts in several U.S. cities in 1919 and authorities reacting out of fear. Is it drawing parallels with events of the past decade?

    Very much so. The incentive for the screenplay was the stripping of one's own inalienable rights as an individual and the [encroachment] of government on our constitutional freedoms. [Screenwriter] Dustin Lance Black was inspired by the Bush era.

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  • Also like Hoover, you've been famous for a long time. What is the worst impact it has had on your personality?

    There are a lot of pitfalls to success, and one is not listening to criticism. One of the most important things you can do is hear criticism of yourself and embrace it, whether it be--in my case--artistic or personal.

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  • You and Hoover both had success at a young age. Did that help you get inside his skin?

    I identified with his ambition. I've been incredibly ambitious ever since I was young and in some respects have had no reservations about going for things I've wanted without questioning what the result will be.

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  • How true is your new movie, J. Edgar, to Hoover's life?

    Historically, it's incredibly accurate. Whatever happened with him as far as his personal life is up for interpretation, and I think the film also represents that. No one except for Mr. [Clyde] Tolson [Hoover's FBI protg and rumored lover] and Mr. Hoover truly know what went down between them, but they absolutely were inseparable partners throughout their lives.

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  • We talked a little about the crazy weather patterns that affected your movie. Of course, any talk of survival has to include talk of climate change, and you are a vocal environmentalist. How did that start?

    So there was a period in my career, post-Titanic, where I took a break and I wanted to reevaluate the other great passion in my life—I’ve been interested in science and biodiversity ever since I was very young, probably from watching films about the rain forest at the Natural History Museum.

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  • This is sort of a meta question, but you’ve obviously spent pretty much your whole life in the public eye—how have you survived that?A lot of people don’t.

    You know, the truth is, it’s very surreal. I don’t think anyone really gets used to being recognized around the world. It kind of feels like a videogame at times, especially with paparazzi and people following you and things of that nature. But it’s part of who I am now. It’s part of my life as long as I choose to do what I do as a profession, and I love what I do. I think I survive because I don’t limit myself. If there’s some experience I want to have or a place I want to go, I do it. I think that’s how I bring some semblance of normality to my life.

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  • Did the shark just get itself out and swim away?

    It flipped itself back out again. I have it on video. It’s insane. Then there was this Delta Airlines flight to Russia. I was in business class, and an engine blew up in front of my eyes. It was right after “Sully” Sullenberger landed in the Hudson. I was sitting there looking out at the wing, and the entire wing exploded in a fireball. I was the only one looking out at the moment this giant turbine exploded like a comet. It was crazy. They shut all the engines off for a couple of minutes, so you’re just sitting there gliding with absolutely no sound, and nobody in the plane was saying anything. It was a surreal experience. They started the engines back up, and we did an emergency landing at JFK.

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  • Tell me your experience with Shark?How the hell did it get into the cage?

    A great white jumped into my cage when I was diving in South Africa. Half its body was in the cage, and it was snapping at me.They leave the tops open and you have a regulator line running to the surface. Then they chum the water with tuna. A wave came and the tuna sort of flipped up into the air. A shark jumped up and grabbed the tuna, and half its body landed inside the cage with me. I sort of fell down to the bottom and tried to lie flat. The great white took about five or six snaps an arm’s length away from my head. The guys there said that has never happened in the 30 years they’d been doing it.

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  • I heard that you’ve had a couple of brushes with death yourself, though.

    My friends have named me the person they least want to do extreme adventures with, because I always seem to be very close to being part of a disaster. If a cat has nine lives, I think I’ve used a few. I mean, there was the shark incident

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  • Do you have a lot of outdoor experience? Are you a survival school kind of a guy?

    I love being immersed in nature and wild places. I love scuba diving, and I’ve been up and down the Amazon. But as far as dropping me off with a small bit of rations? Before this movie I wouldn’t have known the first thing about it.

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  • I heard you had problems with snow.

    We had a lot of complications while shooting, because it was the hottest year in recorded history. In Calgary there were all these extreme weather events. One day we were trying to do a scene and it turned out to be 40 below zero, so the gears of the camera didn’t work. Then twice during the movie we had 7 feet of snow melt in a day—all of it, within five hours—and we were stuck with two or three weeks of no snow in a film that’s all snow. So we had to shut down production multiple times. That’s what happens with climate change; the weather is more extreme on both ends.

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  • And there were a lot of takes.

    Alejandro and Chivo had this vision to shoot in natural light. We had months of rehearsal beforehand, but every day was like doing a play. Each actor, each bit of the set, needed to be like gears in a Swiss watch, because the camera was moving around and you had to have your timing perfect. So we rehearsed every day, and then we had a two-hour window of natural light to shoot. This movie is a little like virtual reality—it’s the closest thing to being submerged in nature. In the bear attack, you can almost feel the breath of the bear. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

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  • How prepared was the crew for that? Did they say, “Well, we’re going to throw DiCaprio into a frozen river, we better have some EMTs here”?

    Oh, they had EMTs there. And they had this machine that they put together—it was kind of like a giant hair dryer with octopus tentacles—so I could heat my feet and fingers after every take, because they got locked up with the cold. So they were basically blasting me with an octopus hair dryer after every single take for nine months.

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  • What was the worst part?

    The hardest thing for me was getting in and out of frozen rivers. [Laughs.] Because I had elk skin on and a bear fur that weighed about 100 pounds when it got wet. And every day it was a challenge not to get hypothermia.

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  • So you’re filming outside, it’s cold, it’s dirty, it’s brutal. What was that like for you? Were there times when you asked yourself, “Why am I doing this?”

    Moments? Every single day of this movie was difficult. It was the most difficult film I’ve ever done. You’ll see, when you see the film—the endurance that we all had to have is very much up on the screen.

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  • What drew you to the role of Hugh Glass?

    Glass was a campfire legend—and it’s all true. He survived a savage bear attack, was left for dead, then traveled through this uncharted territory of interior America, crawling through hundreds of miles of wilderness on his own. So to me the story was a simple linear story, but in Alejandro’s hands, of course, it becomes a sort of visual, existential poetry. Not a lot of directors wanted to take this on because of how difficult it would be to shoot. The script had been floating around for a couple of years. It wasn’t until Alejandro was attached to this man’s struggle in nature that it got going. I reread it and met him again, and I decided to embark on what I would characterize as more of a chapter of my life than a film commitment—because it was epic in every sense of the word.

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  • Watching the opening of The Revenant, all I could think was, “That looks really cold.

    It was physically grueling for everybody. We had to have this massive crew go to far-off locations and move around all over the high altitudes, from Calgary to Vancouver. Like in Birdman, Alejandro Iñárritu created these very intricate shots with [director of photography Emmanuel] “Chivo” Lubezki, where he was weaving in and out of the forest. He would have the camera veer off to this expansive battle sequence, then come right back to another intimate moment with the character. They had coordinated all that stuff with a lot of precision. But of course when we got there, the elements sort of took over.

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  • Who should we be listening to?

    Look, not to get political, but listening to Bernie Sanders at that first presidential debate was pretty inspiring—to hear what he said about the environment. Who knows which candidate is going to become our next president, but we need to create a dialogue about it. I mean, when they asked each of the candidates what the most important issue facing our planet is, Bernie Sanders simply said climate change. To me that’s inspiring.

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  • Are you a fan of geoengineering—finding a scientific fix for climate change?

    There are scientists in London who talk about blasting chemicals into the atmosphere to make it more reflective. There are also people who want to put an iron sulfate mixture into the ocean to sequester enough carbon to reverse this trend. That’s all great, but we need to create an insurance policy for ourselves right now. And that means we need to stop spewing out so much carbon. If we can figure out a way in the future to reverse the effect of greenhouse gases with geoengineering, all the better. But we can’t depend solely on a technological miracle.

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  • Your views on Corporations, of course, are usually driven by economics.

    Everyone in Silicon Valley who is reading this: Look at Divest Invest. It’s something I’m involved in, and it’s a fantastic way you as an individual can say, “I do not want to have investments in oil, coal, or gas.” The technology has caught up to a point where renewables are not going to be devastating to the economy. And actually there is tons of money to be made. This could be the biggest economic boom in American history if we do it right.

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  • What do you feel is the role of technology in this crisis?

    Silicon Valley should be absolutely focused on this issue. Certainly Elon Musk is out there doing it—but the Facebooks, the Googles, all these organizations should be focused on global warming.

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  • So it’s a little bigger than just “Buy a hybrid car”?

    And look, everyone loves money, I love money—we live in the United States. This is a capitalist country. But ultimately we’ve locked ourselves, through capitalism, into an addiction to oil that’s incredibly hard to reverse. I’m making a documentary about this, and I asked Naomi to give me something I could say that would help people understand what they need to do. She told me there isn’t one thing that an individual can do. That whole greenwashing movement, buying a hybrid (which of course can’t hurt), recycling, this and that, it’s not going to cut it. This needs to be a massive movement on a global scale. And it needs to happen now. This year, 2015, is going to be the year people look back on and say we either made the right choices or we didn’t.

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  • What do you see as the biggest challenges?

    We’ve seen such a tremendous lack of leadership, and we’ve allowed these trillion-dollar industries to manipulate the argument about the science for too long. This year is a massive tipping point in the climate struggle. As I said, it’s the hottest year in recorded history. July was the hottest month in recorded history. We’re seeing methane bubbling up from underneath the seafloor. There are massive heat waves, drought, fires going on; ocean acidification is happening on a massive scale. It’s scary. I went to Greenland and there are rivers flowing like it’s the middle of the Grand Canyon. The question is, what do we do to mitigate that? Are we going to come together as a world community? Are we going to evolve as a species and actually combat this issue? The human race has never done anything like that in the history of civilization.

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  • That interested you as a kid?

    I’m not from the country. I lived in downtown LA, in the Silver Lake area, which is close to the Natural History Museum. So I got exposed to the wonders of nature through film—Imax documentaries and such. It was something I always loved, and after Titanic I decided to explore that interest by getting more involved in environmental issues. I was lucky and got to have a meeting with Al Gore in the White House. He pulled out a chalkboard and drew planet Earth and drew our atmosphere around it. And he says, if you want to get involved in environmental issues, this is something not a lot of people are talking about—remember, this was 17, 18 years ago—but climate change is the single greatest threat to humanity that we’ve ever had. That put me on this path. We did Earth Day in 1999. I started a foundation. I started speaking out about the issue. And then, of course, Gore’s film came out, and I think that affected everyone in a profound way.

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