Dicaprio Wins International Green Award
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO used his acceptance speech at the eighth annual Cinema For Peace Gala in Berlin, Germany to remember his late grandmother - and voice his optimism for the future of the planet.
The eco-friendly actor was presented with the International Green Award at the ceremony on Monday (09Feb09) by Russian politician Mikhail Gorbachev, who first met the star when he appeared in DiCaprio's environmental documentary The 11th Hour.
Accepting his trophy, the star told the crowd he was proud to be in Germany - where his grandmother, Helene Idenbirken, lived before her death last summer (08) - recalling the Berlin Wall's fall in 1989.
He said: "My mother and grandparents are all from Germany, and I will never forget that moment of joy as we sat around the television and celebrated with the rest of the world, watching as the wall fell.
"Years before (at age 12), I visited my grandparents in a divided Berlin, and even then I was able to see how a simple wall threatened people's freedoms. My oma (grandmother) took a picture of me in front of the wall the moment we came back from the East side, and I immediately pretended to push the wall down."
That very photograph, which had been sent in to organisers by DiCaprio's mother, Irmelin, was then displayed on screen for the guests.
DiCaprio proceeded to praise U.S. President Barack Obama, who he commended for taking action on climate issues.
He added: "In America, we finally have an administration in Washington that wants to fight alongside you. I sincerely believe that President Obama will be proactive in combating some of the most complex environmental issues facing us. Realising the opportunities of a green revolution for our country will hopefully make America an environmental leader."