The ability to not only play bold, complex heroes, but deplorable villains, too, is the hallmark of a great actor. Leonardo Dicaprio enjoys a turn as Calvin Candie - a slave owener - in Quentin Tarantino's latest movie, Django Unchained, and he's been talking to Today about the experience, and the character who most certainly falls under the latter of those two categories.
"He's the most deplorable human being I've ever read in a screenplay in my life," DiCaprio told Willie Geist on TODAY Thursday. "He was rotting from the inside. He was, you know, a young Louis the XIV that had been brought into a world of entitlement and lived his life ... essentially owning other people." One of the biggest criticism of the film, or should we say only, is the 'excessive' use of the 'N-Word', which some consider to be overt and offensive, and others consider to be an accurate representation of the time. DiCaprio hasn't expressed a view either way, but did have trouble uttering the word on set, initially. "It was Sam Jackson and Jamie Foxx that said, 'You really have to go all the way with this man,'" he explained about confronting his fears. "It was an incredibly colorful character and I just had to ... I had to play him."
And play him he did, although, with perhaps a bit too much gusto, as he managed to cut himself on a broken wineglass whilst gesticulating as the nasty plantation owner. "The choice was I supposed to go on and finish my speech or not, and then I noticed that blood was pouring everywhere," he said. "It was very interesting to see Quentin's and Jamie's reaction off screen."