104 Leonardo DiCaprio Quotes (About Acting, Life, Environment…)

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is a well-known American actor and film producer, who has received critical acclaim and recognition for his work in a wide variety of film genres.

Unlike countless former child actors who tend to fade away from the spotlight, DiCaprio has a steady list of box-office movies for nearly two decades including the epic romance ‘Titanic’ (1997), the science fiction thriller ‘Inception’ (2010), the period drama ‘The Great Gatsby‘ (2013), and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (2013) to list a few.

Leonardo won numerous awards for his acting performance over the years including a Golden Globe Award, an Academy Award, as well as a BAFTA Award.

In addition to his remarkable film career, Leonardo made sure to use his influence and fame on a number of charitable and philanthropic ventures. He has also become one of the world’s top climate and environmental change advocates.

Below you’ll find some of the most inspiring Leonardo DiCaprio quotes and sayings that show his views on life, acting, environment, and many more.

Leonardo DiCaprio Quotes About Acting

1. “I like to be able to play a character and act out a lot of things which I can’t or don’t do in my normal everyday life.”

2. “I’m just starting to scratch the surface of what really makes me happy and it’s taken me a while to admit that acting like a little child and being a jerk and punk is fun.”

3. “I get unhappy doing things that I’m not passionate about. Because I feel like I’m squandering this incredible gift I’ve been given to finance films. As soon as my name alone was enough to make this happen, I vowed to myself that I was going to work with directors who were changing cinema, doing something important, you know?”

4. “Portraying emotionally ill characters gives me the chance to really act.” 

Portraying emotionally ill characters gives me the chance to really act - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #acting #emotionally #ill #characters

5. “The best thing about acting is that I get to lose myself in another character and actually get paid for it… It’s a great outlet. I’m not really sure who I am – it seems I change every day.”

6. “Money was always on my mind when I was growing up. So I was always wondering how we were going to afford this and that. Acting seemed to be a shortcut out of the mess.”

7. “I don’t think I ever expected anything like an Oscar ever, to tell you the truth. That is not my motivation when I do these roles. I really am motivated by being able to work with great people and create a body of work that I can look back and be proud of.”

8. “I really don’t know what I’m doing… I don’t. It’s terrible. I go in there and I learn how to be like the character and do the best I can, and that’s all I really do.”

9. “Hollywood is a very volatile place where artists come in, and they essentially say they want to belong. It’s incredibly vulnerable to be an actor and also get criticism at a young age when you’re formulating who you are. We’ve seen a lot of people fall victim to that, and it’s very unfortunate.”

10. “When I started acting, I didn’t think of it as a career. I always thought Hollywood was this magical world where a fairy came down and said, ‘Come live with the Munchkins; you are now one of us.’ I didn’t understand the concept of it as a career. I thought I would save up enough money to go to college.”

11. “The bottom line is, when it comes to an actor and his performance, whether nominated or not, it simply has to do with whether that character had enough resonance with the audience. You know, to the filmgoers. And that something that you can’t control.”

12. “I am completely open to doing a romantic comedy, but I will never do something just for the sake of doing a specific genre or because it’s the time or place to do a different type of movie. I think that would be a huge mistake.”

13. “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.”

14. “The good thing about acting is that it always keeps you on your toes… It’s not like any other job where you can go in and do the same thing as yesterday.”

15. “I’ve managed to keep a clear head and remain sane in this business because I remain a kid off-camera.” 

I've managed to keep a clear head and remain sane in this business because I remain a kid off-camera - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #acting #kid #off #camera

16. “I just really love doing what I do. I know every career is fleeting and there will be time periods when I don’t get the opportunities that I’m getting right now, so I am taking advantage of them.”

17. “I realize that I do not change the course of history. I am an actor, I do a movie, that’s the end of it. You have to realize we are just clowns for hire. After I had success it was great, at first, not to worry about money. It was on my mind when I was growing up.”

18. “I grew up when I was 15 when I had my first opportunity in movies. I watched every great movie for a year and a half, and since then I’ve asked myself how I can emulate such artistry. That’s really my motivation. I want to do something as good as my heroes have done.”

19. “Don’t think for a moment that I’m really like any of the characters I’ve played. I’m not. That’s why it’s called acting.”

20. “I have learned from my experiences in this industry that there is absolutely no way to control people’s opinions on your performance in your movie. You go out there, promote your film and hope people like the work you did.”

21. “I didn’t know what types of movies I wanted to do. I want to do things that are different. I want to take my time with each role.”

22. “I’ve been planted here to be a vessel for acting… That’s why I’m really taking any part, regardless of how complicated it’s going to be.”

23. “I just want to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully people will watch my movies.” 

I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully people will watch my movies - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #acting #people #watch #movies

24. “I don’t ask other actors questions. I think that’s too intrusive. I just watch. I don’t want to be constricted to an idea of what acting is by anyone else. I want to take my own education.”

25. “I don’t watch anything of mine much. I haven’t gone to drama school, or college, either. I just like to watch other actors in action. I learned so much from working with De Niro. I’d be in a scene with him where I was supposed to be acting, and I was just watching.”

Leonardo DiCaprio Quotes About Life

1. “I’ve always been spontaneous and outgoing… I’ve tried lots of things so I’ve got some good life experiences, which is great ’cause it means I’ve got lots of material to work with as an actor.”

2. “My mom, Irmelin, taught me the value of life. Her own life was saved by my grandmother during World War II.”

3. “I’ve been very lucky to have achieved a lot of the things that I dreamt of achieving as a young man. But, at the end of the day – and I truly believe this – it is not about achieving great wealth or success. Because they don’t bring happiness, ultimately.”

4. “I saw all the moral decay you could, beginning at 2 years old. But I also got to see how the other half lived.”

5. “Brothers don’t necessarily have to say anything to each other – they can sit in a room and be together and just be completely comfortable with each other.”

6. “Considering all that’s happened in my life, I feel like I’m a pretty levelheaded person that has remained happy and not let my shortcomings overtake the better part of me. I’m fulfilling the things I wanted to fulfill, and I’m still sane.”

7. “I don’t see why I can’t have friends of both sexes without wild rumors being circulated. It’s crazy.”

8. “I have a production company,; I have a foundation. I have a lot of responsibilities. Not family – just a lot of responsibilities.”

9. “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.”

10. “If you can do what you do best and be happy, you’re further along in life than most people.” 

If you can do what you do best and be happy, you're further along in life than most people - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #life #do #best #happy

11. “I think I will always feel like an outsider.”

12. “You do need parental guidance and I was in a great position with both my mum and dad. They split when I was a baby but even though I stayed with my mom they were both very much involved in my upbringing.”

13. “I really hate relaxing. I’ve done three movies in a row, worked for two years straight, and to me, idle time is the devil’s workshop. I like to focus on something.”

14. “I’m not the kind of person who tries to be cool or trendy, I’m definitely an individual.”

15. “I get a friend to travel with me… I need somebody to bring me back to who I am. It’s hard to be alone.”

Leonardo DiCaprio Quotes About Environment

1. “I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems. I believe mankind has looked at climate change in the same way, as if it were fiction.”

2. “As a kid, I was going to be a marine biologist or an actor. When I became successful as an actor, I said, ‘Well, maybe I can lend a voice to this with an equal passion.’ You realize how lucky we are and how destructive we’ve been and what little regard we have for the natural world.”

3. “I love scuba diving, and I’ve been up and down the Amazon.”

4. “Raising awareness on the most pressing environmental issues of our time is more important than ever.” 

Raising awareness on the most pressing environmental issues of our time is more important than ever - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #environment #awareness #issues

5. “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.”

6. “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 civilization for thousands of miles.”

7. “I was a bit of a loudmouth, and I was in an environment where the elements aligned to have kids smack the hell outta me once in a while.”

8. “As a young boy, I was obsessed with endangered species and the extinct species that men killed off. Biology was the subject in school that I was incredibly passionate about.”

Leonardo DiCaprio Quotes About Love

1. “With Romeo and Juliet, you’re talking about two people who meet one night and get married the same night. I believe in love at first sight but it hasn’t happened to me yet.”

2. “I’ve always been a slow starter. My first date was with a girl called Cessi. We had a beautiful relationship over the phone all summer, and then when we met, I couldn’t look her in the eye.”

3. “I’ve never been Romeo who meets a girl and falls for her immediately. It’s been a much slower process for me each time I’ve gone into a relationship.”

4. “There is a lot of speculation about what women are attracted to, and there are a lot of misconceptions.”

5. “I’m probably not going to get married unless I live with somebody for 10 or 20 years. But these people (Romeo and Juliet) took a chance and they did it. We don’t have the balls that Romeo did.”

6. “To believe in love, to be ready to give up anything for it, to be willing to risk your life for it, is the ultimate tragedy.” 

To believe in love, to be ready to give up anything for it, to be willing to risk your life for it, is the ultimate tragedy - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #love #give #up #everything #risk #life #ultimate #tragedy

Leonardo DiCaprio, More Quotes & Sayings

1. “The role of Rimbaud is one of the most important roles to play for a young actor.”

2. “Women have been the most persecuted people throughout all of recorded history, more than any race or religion.” 

Women have been the most persecuted people throughout all of recorded history, more than any race or religion - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #women #most #persecuted

3. “I did imitations of anyone who came to my parents’ house, and that was my identity at school – if there were ten minutes to lunch, and the teacher was done with the lesson, he’d say, Okay, Leo, get up there and do something.”

4. “If a studio is going to offer me the opportunity to invite my mother and grandmother and all my friends to visit me free of charge in Thailand, I’m going to take that opportunity.”

5. “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.”

6. “I haven’t died in a movie in a while, The Departed, Body of Lies, Revolutionary Road, Shutter Island, and Inception. I guess I did die in The Departed.”

7. “When a role for a young guy is being offered to me, I think of River Phoenix. It feels like a loss.”

8. “I like stories in specific time periods. ‘The Revenant’s’ era of American history was fascinating because it was this lawless no man’s land. It defined the idea of the American frontiersman as man conquering nature. In a way, the story of Hugh Glass is about a man dominating nature.”

9. “School, I never truly got the knack of. I could never focus on things I didn’t want to learn. Math is just the worst. To this day, I can’t concentrate on it. People always say, ‘You should have tried harder.’ But actually, I cheated a lot because I could not sit and do homework.”

10. “If I want to go to a party with a few male friends, it doesn’t mean I’m gay.”

11. “I want to be a jerk like the rest of my friends, and have fun, and not care about the consequences, but I just can’t now.”

12. “There are a lot of directors I’d still love to work with. Paul Thomas Anderson is someone I’d love to work with. I think Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is very talented. Ang Lee is very talented. I mean, there are a lot of people. There are many great directors out there.”

13. “Drugs? Everyone has a choice and I choose not to do drugs.” 

Drugs? Everyone has a choice and I choose not to do drugs - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #not #do #drugs

14. “It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing all the hype that’s written about you… Who knows? In a couple of years, you might find me in the loony bin!”

15. “To be honest, I’m not really prepared to do a musical, simply because I think I have a pretty atrocious voice.”

16. “I have to say that whatever decisions I make, I really do think that movie making is a director’s medium. They are the people that ultimately shape the film, and a director can take great material and turn it into the garbage if they are not capable of making a good movie.”

17. “I am trying to do the best work I possibly can and making movies that will have resonance for years to come. I think if you try for an Oscar or a goal like that, the more people are going to see it as transparent. It’s not on my radar. If it happens, great, but I’m happy to continue working as I am, really.”

18. “I went to a concert once when I was a little kid and ran up on stage, started dancing, started saying anything that came to my head. I was like a little vaudevillian.”

19. “I love science fiction, but I have a hard time feeling for characters in a galaxy far away. Choosing movies is the one thing in my life where there’s no compromising.”

20. “My mother is a walking miracle.” 

My mother is a walking miracle - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #mother #miracle

21. “Meryl Streep does things I would never have thought possible… Her presence on screen is outstanding.”

22. “If you have the ability to convince somebody of something that you don’t necessarily think is the case, it’s a valuable asset. Not that I’m, like, a pathological liar, but we spend most of the day not fully being honest, you know?”

23. “I got attention by being funny at school, pretending to be retarded, and jumping around with a deformed hand.”

24. “Television is better than it’s ever been in history. A lot of stories are being pushed – because of how complicated they are to make – toward Netflix and other channels on cable.”

25. “The first kiss I had was the most disgusting thing in my life. The girl injected about a pound of saliva into my mouth, and when I walked away I had to spit it all out.”

26. “I certainly don’t eat raw bison liver on a regular basis.”

27. “I had a period when I was sixteen where I started to get a big head. I was going through puberty, and I was nominated for an Academy Award. My head got inflated. My friends were the real ones who said, ‘You’re acting differently.’ But the truth is that I don’t need that because I don’t get out of hand.”

28. “People are always like, ‘It must be so hard for you, not to be able to leave your house. I’m like, No, I go where I want and do whatever I want all the time. No, you walk down the street? Yeah, I do all the time. Really? Yeah, all the time.”

29. “I took some time off after Titanic because I needed to let the dust settle and recharge my battery. I felt, OK, you’ve been given a tremendous opportunity; what are you going to do with it? Now your name can finance movies that you do want to do.”

30. “My parents, who were split up, were so good at keeping my environment strong and keeping everything around me not focused on the fact that we were poor. They got me culture. They took me to museums. They showed art to me. They read to me. And my mother drove two hours a day to take me to University Elementary School.”

31. “My parents know I was outgoing as a child, and whenever people came over, I’d automatically do impressions of them as soon as they left; it was my mom’s favorite thing. Yes, I grew up in Hollywood, but not in any rich neighborhood.”

32. “My love of performing goes way back. My mom got me on ‘Romper Room’ when I was five – it was my favorite show. But they couldn’t control me. I would run up and smack the camera, and I’d jump around and do my little flips and routines. I wish I could get that tape now.”

33. “I remember reading the book in high school and always thinking of Gatsby as this strong, stoic, suave, mysterious man who had everything under control. But when I read it as an adult, I realized he is a hollow man, a shell of a person trying to find meaning, who is not completely in touch with reality.”

34. “When I was 14, I was on the cover of ‘Bop and Tiger Beat. Every two months, I would see a new kid’s face, and I remember saying, This is not something that lasts very long.”

35. “School, I never truly got the knack of. I could never focus on things I didn’t want to learn.”

36. “Being dubbed as a hunk sort of annoys me. It gives me a yucky feeling.”

37. “My father, George, has also affected the choices in my life regarding films. I like films that take chances or say something different or experiment. Growing up with him, I was surrounded by different artists – not just actors or film-makers but cartoonists, poets, writers.”

38. “My dad’s probably one of the kindest people in the world. When I was younger that’s not how I was- I was a little spoiled brat.”

39. “I was always the kid in school who tried to get attention, not necessarily the class clown, but I’d do little unexpected performances.” 

I was always the kid in school who tried to get attention, not necessarily the class clown, but I'd do little unexpected performances - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #attention #unexpected #performances

40. “When you are given an opportunity to make a film like ‘Body of Lies’ – and I would put ‘Blood Diamond’ in the same category – of course, you jump at these opportunities.”

41. “My career should adapt to me. Fame is like a VIP pass wherever you want to go.”

42. “Hoover was incredibly ambitious as a young man. He was highly motivated to succeed in Washington, primarily due to his mother’s expectations of him.”

43. “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 belonged in that club.”

44. “Everywhere I go, somebody is staring at me, I don’t know if people are staring because they recognize me or because they think I’m a weirdo.” 

Everywhere I go, somebody is staring at me, I don't know if people are staring because they recognize me or because they think I'm a weirdo - Leonardo DiCaprio. #quotes #staring #recognize #weirdo

45. “I have very little fashion sense, and to tell you the truth, I give it very little thought. I dress to be as comfortable as I possibly can. Most of my clothing is either black, grey, or dark blue, and I don’t really wear a lot of colors. But I do like jackets. I have a little bit of an obsession with them.”

46. “I am friends with Demi. Don’t believe anything you read.”

47. “It’s always this grand search in the industry to find good material. Whenever there is good material, they all jump on it, and it’s like a food fight to get it made. That’s why so many things take years and years to develop because it all shows up on screen.”

48. “I couldn’t deal with playing a character who rides motorcycles and has a leather jacket and is a tough kid, y’know?”

49. “I prefer ordinary girls – you know, college students, waitresses, that sort of thing. Most of the girls I go out with are just good friends. Just because I go out to the cinema with a girl, it doesn’t mean we are dating.”

50. “I’ve never done drugs. That’s because I saw this stuff literally every day when I was 3 or 4 years old.”

If you’d like to learn more about Leonardo DiCaprio’s life and works, we would suggest you read Leonardo DiCaprio: The Biography by Douglas Wight.

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