Leonardo DiCaprio’s second career is environmental conservation. Whether starting his own foundation to combat climate change or speaking at the United Nations, DiCaprio probably spends as much time reading weather reports as he does scripts.
So it’s to be expected that his recent interview with Wired veers into environmental activism as much as it does his new film The Revenant. Speaking to the interviewer, DiCaprio explained the origins of his activism (“I was lucky and got to have a meeting with Al Gore in the White House”) the need for global action (“That whole greenwashing movement, buying a hybrid…recycling, this and that, it’s not going to cut it) and in at least one instance, the professional victim of a shoot troubled by climate change.
Do you know how hard it is to find decent snow to film in these days, regardless of whether you’re going to film any bear rape scenes?
“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 seven 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.
You even had to wrap early and resume filming when you could find snow again, right?
We had to go to the South Pole!
We had to go to the southern tip of Argentina, to the southernmost town on the planet, to find snow.”
DiCaprio is currently filming his own documentary on climate change and industrial oil addiction that may or may not reference this trip. He’s at least hopeful in the Wired interview, calling it inspiring that Bernie Sanders identified climate change as the biggest threat to the country during the presidential debates and is hopeful for a financial boom in green tech.
By all accounts, the result was worth it. You’ll just have to wait for Christmas to see whether that frustration with chasing a decent snowbank bleeds onto the screen.
Read the full Wired interview here.