In The Revenant Leonardo Dicaprio plays 19th century frontiersman Hugh Glass, whose remarkable story has become something of an American legend. But unlike Paul Bunyan, Glass and his story are real and DiCaprio, along with director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, has created a deeply immersive film that tells this remarkable story, proving that fact can sometimes be stranger than fiction.

Leonardo DiCaprio in The RevenantLeonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in The Revenant.

Describing his character DiCaprio said: “Hugh Glass is the stuff of legend by the American campfires, he's a real life Paul Bunyan type of character. A man that survived extreme elements and was left to die by his hunting crew and buried alive and crawled through the entire American wilderness on his own through hundreds of miles, through the dead of winter to seek revenge on the men that had done him wrong.”

“So he's part of American folklore but he was a real person and these things really did happen.” DiCaprio worked closely on the project with director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, whose aim was to focus on the human element of Glass’ story and how he managed to overcome the odds.

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“I think more than anything what Alejandro wanted to do was create poetry in that story, the poetry of what it means to have all the chips stacked against you,” DiCaprio explained. "To have really very little chance of survival and the triumph of the human spirit and what we can endure and what we go through and what Hugh Glass realises on that journey. Wether revenge is ultimately what will quench his thirst at the end of the day.”

The Revenant was the first time DiCaprio had worked with Inarritu, who won the Best Director Oscar earlier this year for Birdman. But it was Inarritu’s involvement in the film which made DiCaprio sure about taking on the role.

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“It really was only till Alejandro really came aboard and made this screenplay his own and really became attached to the material and this epic journey of survival and the way he wanted to shoot it where it became an exciting prospect for me,” DiCaprio said.

“He really is a unique filmmaker. He’s really one of a kind and I knew it would take that type of director that gives you that truly immersive experience as an audience member.” Both DiCaprio and Inarritu have scored Golden Globe nominations for the film and many think Leo could land his first Oscar for the role. The Revenant hits US theatres on December 25th.

Watch the trailer for The Revenant below: