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Leonardo DiCaprio's relationship with his father has had a heavy impact on the Oscar-winner's career

By Alexia Fernández
February 06, 2020 10:24 AM
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Leonardo DiCaprio has a close relationship with his father, George, that has influenced his storied career.

The 45-year-old actor attended the 2020 Oscar Nominees Luncheon last Monday alongside George, 76. DiCaprio often brings one of his parents, George, a writer, or his mother Irmelin, as his date to awards shows.

George has been a stalwart force in his son’s career. DiCaprio recalled at the SAG Foundation Awards it was George who introduced him to Robert De Niro’s films. “Son, watch closely because this is what great acting looks like,” his dad would say to him.

Three years later, DiCaprio worked with De Niro on This Boy’s Life.

Leonardo DiCaprio, George DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio with his father George DiCaprio
| Credit: Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Both George and Irmelin also did all they could to support his career. According to a 1995 New York Times profile, DiCaprio’s parents worked for his production company at the time, with George reading through scripts and choosing the ones he thought his son should consider.

Throughout his career, Leonardo has avoided sequels and franchises, preferring to take on more daring roles like his Oscar-winning turn as Hugh Glass in The Revenant, a role that called for him to eat raw bison liver.

“My dad always told me, ‘Go out there, son, and whatever you do, I don’t care if you’re successful or not, just have an interesting life,’ ” DiCaprio told Parade.

The actor told GQ in 2011, “My father has always been a huge force with me.”

George also exposed his son to counterculture concerts, which they would attend throughout DiCaprio’s childhood.

“The earliest memory I have is me at some hippie concert with my dad and the band hadn’t come on,” he once told Rolling Stone. “There was an audience of hundreds of people chanting for the band, and my dad scooted me on stage–I don’t know how old I was, probably three or so–and I got up there and tap-danced for hundreds of people.”

DiCaprio is nominated for Best Actor at Sunday’s Oscars, for his performance in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.