Leonardo DiCaprio says filming violent scenes like in Django Unchained doesn’t deter him from wanting his movies to be great art.
The bloody revenge film about slavery before the U.S. Civil War has fueled some of the debate about whether Hollywood shows too much on-screen violence. DiCaprio portrays a ruthless plantation owner encountered by a freed slave and bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz).
“My philosophy has kind of always been the same: Pain is temporary, film is forever,” DiCaprio said Thursday in South Korea.
“You do everything you possibly can, you give it your all, all of your focus, and hopefully you come out with, if all the elements mixed together correctly, you come out with a great piece of art,” he said. “To me, cinema is the great modern art form.”
Director Quentin Tarantino, whose graphically violent filmography also includes Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds, has taken the long view on Django as well, noting films become less controversial as they age.
The film won two Academy Awards last month, supporting actor for Waltz and original screenplay for Tarantino.
DiCaprio spoke at a news conference and attended the film’s red-carpet premiere in Seoul. Mobbed by fans snapping pictures of him on their phones, DiCaprio said it was an incredible welcome for his first trip to South Korea and he was sure to return.
Django Unchained opened last weekend in Japan, and it opens in South Korea and Singapore on March 21.