Leonardo DiCaprio is the first to admit the subject matter of Christoper Nolan’s Inception was a little foreign to him.
The film is an elaborate heist drama about a man (DiCaprio) skilled in stealing information from a target’s subconscious through their dreams. And DiCaprio? “I’m not a big dreamer. I never have been,” he admits. “I remember fragments of my dream.”
Though he initially approached the complex, labyrinthine film like he would any other, DiCaprio admits that didn’t last.
“I tried to take a traditional sort of approach to researching this project and doing preparation for it. You know, read books on dream analysis, read Freud’s book on the analysis of dreams and tried to research it in that sort of form,” he says. “But I realized this is Chris Nolan’s dream world.”
It’s also DiCaprio’s first foray into science fiction, something he admits he’s never had much interest in.
“One of the earliest conversations I had with Chris was how both of us have a hard time with science fiction,” he says. “We have a little bit of an aversion to it because it’s hard for us to emotionally invest in worlds that are too far detached from what we know.” He credits Nolan’s style of filmmaking and storytelling for allaying his fears. “What’s interesting about Chris Nolan’s science fiction worlds is that they’re deeply rooted in things that we’ve seen before,” DiCaprio says. “There’s not too much of a leap of faith to make.”
As an actor who admittedly makes a lot of decisions about what roles to take based on who the director is, DiCaprio has only the highest praise for his latest collaborator. “This was an extremely ambitious concept that Chris was trying to pull off here. And he accomplished it in flying colours,” he says.
Examining his recent work, including this year’s Shutter Island, DiCaprio admits he has a penchant for the dark side.
“These types of films that are psychologically dark at times I find extremely exciting to do because there’s always something to think about,” he says.
This list of directors with whom DiCaprio has collaborated is indeed impressive, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Sam Mendes and Woody Allen. So who’s missing? How about the man behind Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby and Invictus?
DiCaprio eyes role in Hoover film
“I’m talking to Clint Eastwood about playing J. Edgar Hoover, who had his hand in some of the most scandalous events in American history — everything from the Vietnam war and Dillinger to Martin Luther King and JFK,” says DiCaprio, who hints that the project will be about “the secret life of J. Edgar Hoover.”