Leonardo DiCaprio Learned the Truth About Acting the Hard Way After Facing a Year’s Worth of Rejections

Leonardo DiCaprio learnt a very important lesson at 12 years old after he was rejected from acting jobs for over a year.

Acting, as a profession, has a reputation for not being for the faint of heart. Actors spend years, even decades of their lives doing dead-end jobs that they do not care about until, finally, they get their big break. Many waste their entire lives trying to be anything the film industry wants them to be and end up being of no relevance in the legacy created by cinema.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic
Having to understand something as complex as accepting your own limitations and weaknesses is something that people spend lifetimes trying to attain. Leonardo DiCaprio achieved this big feat at the young age of 12 years old. It would seem that the actor learned a very tough lesson about his profession very early on and has never been the same since then.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Deceitfulness Blew Up In His Face

Leonardo DiCaprio gave an interview with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation where he touched on all aspects of his professional life and how it has impacted his personal life. The former child actor revealed that when he was a young boy, going for auditions, he had the tendency to show his skills to directors, as though he were cattle trying to sell himself.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic

Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic
“You’re set up and put into this system where you’re supposed to be the jack of all trades. You’re supposed to set yourself up as somebody who can basically do what they want.” said Leonardo DiCaprio.

Often, he would overcompensate for his abilities and agree that he could do a thing that he could never even think of doing in his wildest dreams. While these habits were all efforts at the actor trying to get as many roles as he possibly could, it would seem that the producers and filmmakers saw right through the disingenuity of his enthusiasm.

leonardo dicaprio titanic

Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic
“And I remember having that attitude for a while, and I didn’t book a job for a year.” DiCaprio went on.

For a year, the actor practiced this habit and for a year, he received no callback. He got no jobs and no opportunities to act, all the while, being only 11-12 years old.

Leonardo DiCaprio Came Back Stronger
Leonardo DiCaprio seemed to have caught onto the pattern that was following his career in the form of rejection and traced the route of it. The actor realized that if he wanted to continue in the profession, he had to change his attitude and approach when it came to auditioning and trying for roles. Rather than trying to check all the boxes, DiCaprio focused on growing as an actor.

“It was that year of rejection where I kind of took a different attitude towards the audition process, and I started to get jobs after that.” DiCaprio said, “I think it was really because I said to myself that I am not dependent on this job. This isn’t gonna define me.”

Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic

Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic
He further added “I started to sell myself less, prepare myself for the roles, investing in the character, and not feeling like my self worth was dependent on whether I book the job or not.”

He recognized his strengths and weaknesses, as well as understanding that he could not pretend to know what he was doing. Faking it till he made it was not an option. Instead, the actor decided to study the roles he was auditioning for, understanding his characters to better his craft. This tied into him no longer putting his self-worth on things that were purely based on chance.

 

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