In Inception, a mind-bending thriller from The Dark Knight‘s Christopher Nolan (out July 16), Leonardo DiCaprio, 35, stars as a thief who enters people’s dreams to steal their ideas. But if you think you’ll steal any spoilers from him about the highly anticipated — and mysterious — movie, you’re dreaming.
This is your first summer blockbuster. How come?
Leonardo DiCaprio: I don’t really think about whether something’s a summer blockbuster or not, but I suppose I have had a bit of a reaction to films with themes I’ve seen a million times before or plot points that seem regurgitated. But Inception was so fresh. It has elements of sci-fi, but the sci-fi isn’t something the audience can’t relate to. It has a very powerful emotional through-line. It’s essentially about a man trying to come to terms with his past and resurrect himself through the dreamworld.
There’s been a huge amount of secrecy surrounding it…
I wouldn’t say we had to read the script under armed guard or anything. [Laughs] But part of the enjoyment of this movie is the tutorial process of how my character learns to explore alternate realities and unlock these mysteries — and you need to have a virgin understanding of the world Chris has created to truly enjoy that. With every film I do, I think it’s important not to give everything away.
Dreams are always tricky to depict on screen. How did you guys approach it?
There are points when it becomes somewhat psychedelic, with things folding in on each other. But as strange and abstract as I’m sure it sounds, once you lock into it, you get it and you go on the ride.