In his upcoming wintry epic “The Revenant,” Leonardo DiCaprio plays a 19th-century frontiersman who survives a vicious bear attack and goes on to stare death in the face multiple times. Which, believe it or not, isn’t much unlike Leo’s real life.
In a new interview with WIRED, the 41-year-old actor recounts three terrifying times he’s almost died — and that’s not even including the crazy sh-t he’s done for “The Revenant,” like risking hypothermia, sleeping in animal carcasses and eating raw bison liver. It’s enough to make you want to lock poor Leo in an underground shelter.
So without further ado, let Leo explain why his friends have described him as “the person they least want to do extreme adventures with, because I always seem to be very close to being part of a disaster.”
The time he almost got mauled by a shark.Giphy
“A great white jumped into my cage when I was diving in South Africa. Half its body was in the cage, and it was snapping at me. I sort of fell down to the bottom [of the cage] and tried to lie flat. The great white took about five or six snaps an arm’s length away from my head. The guys there said that has never happened in the 30 years they’d been doing it. It flipped itself back out again. I have it on video. It’s insane.” (Side note: We need to see that video ASAP. This ish sounds epic!).
The time his Russia-bound plane almost combusted.Giphy
“I was in business class, and an engine blew up in front of my eyes. It was right after ‘Sully’ Sullenberger landed in the Hudson. I was sitting there looking out at the wing, and the entire wing exploded in a fireball. I was the only one looking out at the moment this giant turbine exploded like a comet. It was crazy. They shut all the engines off for a couple of minutes, so you’re just sitting there gliding with absolutely no sound, and nobody in the plane was saying anything. It was a surreal experience. They started the engines back up, and we did an emergency landing at JFK.”
The time he almost free-fell to his demise.Giphy
“The other one was the skydiving incident. It was a tandem dive. We pulled the first chute. That was knotted up. The gentleman I was with cut it free. We did another free fall for like another 5, 10 seconds. I didn’t even think about the extra chute, so I thought we were just plummeting to our death. He pulled the second, and that was knotted up too. He just kept shaking it and shaking it in midair, as all my friends were, you know, what felt like half a mile above me, and I’m plummeting toward earth. [Laughs.] And he finally unravels it in midair.”
So… what can we conclude from Leo’s Terrifying Tales? “If a cat has nine lives, I think I’ve used a few,” he admitted, basically delivering the understatement of the century. “The Revenant” has already earned him a Golden Globe nomination, but someone really needs to give this man his overdue Oscar before he accidentally kills himself.