Leonardo DiCaprio: Before and After Titanic Made Him an International Heartthrob
In 1997, a sweet-faced blond actor named Leonardo DiCaprio became King of the World when Titanicbecame the highest-grossing film in history (until Avatar in 2010). At the time of Titanic’s release, DiCaprio was already a lauded actor and minted heartthrob, thanks to Marvin’s Room and Romeo + Juliet, respectively. But Jack Dawson changed all of that, and the “Leo-Mania” induced an international fever pitch of such epic proportions it would not be seen again until Robert Pattinson and Twilight.
Thirteen years after the ship sank the first time, our hearts have gone on to fall for new faces — like the aforementioned RPatz and The Notebook’s Ryan Gosling. Leo, for his part, has spent the past decade shirking his heartthrob status on the big screen (while romancing supermodels in real life, natch). After Titanic, Leo took three years off, presumably scarred by the incessant shrieking from teenage girls heard ‘round the world. “I have no connection with me during that whole Titanic phenomenon and what my face became around the world,” Leo told Time Magazine.
In the past 13 years, Leo’s been nominated for two Oscars and 6 Golden Globes, winning a Globe in 2005 for his searing portrayal of magnate Howard Hughes in The Aviator. The boy with a face of a “mischievous angel,” as EW critic proclaimed in 1997, will return to play yet another legendary role this summer as the title lead in The Great Gatsby.