How Did Leonardo DiCaprio Prepare for the Revenant?

Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in the 2015 film ‘The Revenant’ was truly remarkable. His portrayal of frontiersman Hugh Glass earned him his long-awaited first Academy Award for Best Actor.

But what went into preparing for this physically demanding and emotionally intense role? Let’s take a closer look at how DiCaprio prepared for ‘The Revenant’.

The Physical Transformation

DiCaprio underwent a rigorous physical transformation to accurately portray the character of Hugh Glass. He worked closely with renowned trainer Walter Norton Jr., who helped him develop the strength, endurance, and agility required for the role.

  • Intense Workouts: DiCaprio engaged in a combination of weightlifting, cardio exercises, and functional training to build his strength and stamina. His workouts included exercises like deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and tire flips.
  • Nutrition: To fuel his demanding workouts, DiCaprio followed a strict diet plan.

    He consumed a high-protein diet consisting of lean meats, fish, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. He also incorporated healthy fats like avocados and nuts into his meals.

  • Outdoor Training: Recognizing the importance of adapting to the film’s harsh environment, DiCaprio trained outdoors in extreme conditions. This included hiking in freezing temperatures and swimming in icy waters to acclimate himself to the challenging circumstances he would face on set.

The Emotional Journey

‘The Revenant’ required DiCaprio to tap into deep emotional reservoirs to portray Hugh Glass’s intense struggle for survival. Here are some ways he prepared emotionally for the role:

  • Immersive Research: DiCaprio immersed himself in the history and background of the character. He studied real-life survival stories and explored the world of frontiersmen to understand their mindset and motivations.
  • Working with Alejandro G. Iñárritu: DiCaprio collaborated closely with director Alejandro G. Iñárritu to fully grasp the vision for the film and his character’s emotional journey.

    They worked together to develop a deep understanding of Hugh Glass’s motives and experiences.

  • Tapping into Vulnerability: In order to authentically portray Glass’s emotional vulnerability, DiCaprio explored his own vulnerabilities. He dove deep into his own past experiences and emotions, allowing himself to be vulnerable on screen.

The Commitment

DiCaprio’s commitment to his craft is evident in every scene of ‘The Revenant’. His dedication extended beyond physical training and emotional preparation:

  • Living Off the Land: To truly immerse himself in the role, DiCaprio learned survival skills such as building shelter, starting fires, and hunting for food. He embraced the self-sufficiency that his character required.
  • Filming Conditions: The filming conditions were grueling, with long hours spent in freezing temperatures.

    DiCaprio endured extreme discomfort while shooting many scenes, pushing himself to capture the raw authenticity required for the film.

  • Persistence: Despite numerous challenges during production, DiCaprio remained committed to delivering an exceptional performance. His unwavering dedication helped him overcome obstacles and bring Hugh Glass’s story to life.

In Conclusion

Leonardo DiCaprio’s preparation for ‘The Revenant’ was a testament to his dedication and commitment as an actor. His physical transformation, emotional journey, and unwavering commitment to the role contributed to a truly remarkable performance. Through his hard work and preparation, DiCaprio brought Hugh Glass’s story of survival and resilience to the screen in a way that captivated audiences worldwide.