“I was far, far away from a snowy mountaintop today when I heard the news and I haven’t returned to one since that powerful experience,” says Leonardo DiCaprio this morning, on where he heard the news of his 11th Golden Globe nomination for his role as 19th-century fur trapper Hugh Glass in the epic survivalist tale The Revenant.
The actor, in fact was in Los Angeles, just returning from Paris where he participated in the global climate talks happening there now. DiCaprio was thrilled that his performance and his director, Alexandro Iñárritu, was recognized by the HFPA: “It’s a fantastic feeling,” he says. “We really committed ourselves to this entire process of entering into nature and trying to extract poetry from the whole experience. To be able to be congratulated in this manner means a lot.”
Last year at this time, DiCaprio remembers just beginning to film the survivalist part of Glass’ story. His fellow trappers have abandoned him, he’s emerging from a shallow grave and preparing “to crawl across hundreds of miles of very rugged terrain,” he says. “I know I was doing something pretty exhilarating.”
Turns out the five-time Academy Award nominee was also doing something exhilarating this year, speaking with Secretary of State John Kerry and other top climate change officials about the effects of global warming, some of which he experienced first-hand during the making of the movie. Production on the film was extended for months as the filmmakers searched the globe for snowy terrain after the snowpack melted too soon in Calgary, Alberta, requiring production to decamp to the Tierra del Fuego area of Argentina to finish the film.
That, in the end, was the biggest challenge of the monumental shoot.
“We were fighting the cold on a personal level and we were fighting the cold as far as logistics go, in terms of getting the locations and the fact that the temperatures were so sporadic,” he adds. “It was one of the most sporadic years in that area’s history due to the changing climate.”