Most of us remember starting to love Leonardo DiCaprio as he hung off the side of a wooden door promising Kate Winslet he would never let go. Well, we all swore we would never let go, either, Leo, and we never have.
We don’t care if you’ve put on a few; we still love your sexy baby face and worldly environmentally-friendly attitude. Forty reasons why we love Leo :
1. He was great from the start. Many of us first met Leo in Growing Pains when he played Luke Brower, the homeless teen the Seavers took in. He was a cutie even then, and it was pretty clear he had talent.
2. Leo has range. His roles as a mentally-handicapped boy in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and the troubled son who sets fire to his mother’s house in Marvin’s Room set the bar pretty high for Leo in the beginning. He has never shied away from the challenging roles, and that’s what we love about him.
3. He can play the dark, complex hero. In many of his films, he had done this, such as when he played the poet-turned-heroin addicted teen in Basketball Diaries’ to the undercover cop in The Departed. These aren’t easy roles to play, but Leo is always up for the task.
4. And, of course, there’s the fact that he always was, and still is, really (really) handsome. It might be those soulful blue eyes, cheekbones, dimples or perfectly slicked-back dirty blonde hair. Or, as Claire Danes put it after they filmed Romeo + Juliet, it is very aesthetically pleasing.
5. Not many people could make Shakespearean dialogue work in a modern Los Angeles setting, but Leo did in Romeo + Juliet.
If anyone were to star in Baz Luhrman’s version of the classic play, which resembled what it would look like if Grand Theft Auto and Shakespeare had a baby, it would be Leo. I’m sure Claire Danes would confirm.
6. Jack Dawson – that is all. #LeoMania
7. I am the king of the world is one of the most memorable movie moments. For those completely obsessed, the jacket Leo was wearing during this scene in Titanic was recently auctioned off with an expected selling price of $70,000.
Someone gets to be the king of the world, or king of the wardrobe, forever.
8. Leo as Jack holding Rose at the front of the Titanic with their arms stretched out was possibly the most imitated and memed movie pose ever made. We’ve all done it.
9. Leo can bring the crowds to see otherwise bad movies like Man in the Iron Mask. We were there for you, Leo.
10. His passionate, Thailand paradise, beachside makeout with French actress Virginie Ledoyen in The Beach was almost too hot to handle. Even Tilda Swinton was jelly.
11. Leo made identity theft sexy in Catch Me If You Can. Somehow, he still keeps us rooting for his character, Frank Abagnale Jr., even as Frank deceives everyone he comes into contact with. It’s the DiCaprio charm, and he made Spielberg proud.
12. Leo in that pilot’s hat and aviator glasses in Catch Me If You Can was mesmerizing.
13. How magical it was watching Leo act alongside Jack Nicholson in The Departed. Nicholson is like the legendary actor Leo is in the process of becoming.
14. The Leo/Kate comeback in Revolutionary Road created major heart pangs. To see that pair again, even in a different scenario, was nostalgic. These two are still close friends in real life, probably because the one thing all Titanic fans wished would happen didn’t.
15. Leo entertained in scary movies like Shutter Island, and it was shockingly good.
16. We all remember post-Titanic Leo mania. I remember being around 12, printing out Leo’s pictures on my parents 1998 Macintosh computer to make a scrapbook. That’s the kind of an obsession we’re talking about here.
17. Hearing Leo say, Is it possible to improve on perfection? as Kid in The Quick and the Dead.
18. Leo’s South African accent in Blood Diamond.
19. Watching Leo’s epic performance alongside Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. No one else could make that greasy long man shag work as well as Leo did.
20. The way Leo reached into our lucid dreams in Inception. We might not understand what happened in that movie, but we sure enjoyed watching him in it.
21. Leo’s ability to constantly surprise us with the roles he takes on, such as when he played J. Edgar Hoover in J. Edgar. We didn’t see that one coming.
22. Leo isn’t married. Although, he always has a girlfriend, there may still be hope for the rest of us!
23. The eco-friendly resort Leo is building on an island he bought in Belize. And the fact that he bought an island in Belize.
24. Leo’s transformation into the awesome southern villain, Calvin Candie, in Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
25. He was able to appeal to the guys while maintaining the ladies’ hearts in his role as undercover special forces operative Billy Costigan in The Departed. His Bahston accent wasn’t half bad, either.
26. Leo’s reunion with director Baz Luhrmann in The Great Gatsby was nothing short of perfection. He completely captured the over-the-top, secretly-pained playboy millionaire Jay Gatsby. We loved you in it, Leo, old sport.
27. Leo’s work for the environment. DiCaprio is well-known as a prominent environmental activist, and his compassion is one of his sexiest qualities.
He only drives fuel-efficient vehicles, such as his electric Tesla, plug-in Hybrid and Toyota Prius, and solar panels installed on his house. He has also made several public appearances and speeches on behalf of global warming.
28. The inspirational speech Leo gave on global warming at the 2014 UN Summit, where he was appointed a United Nations representative on climate change.
29. Leo’s philanthropy, including the $1 million he donated to relief efforts in Haiti after the earthquake, the $1 million to the Wildlife Conservation Society at Russia’s tiger summit and $61,000 to GLAAD, an organization promoting a positive image of LGBT people in the media.
30. Leo was even recognized by one of the self-identified manliest world leaders, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, as being a real man after his hefty donation to tigers.
31. Leo had always done a fantastic job at portraying characters on the brink of insanity, such as when he played the eccentric aviator and film producer Howard Hughes in The Aviator.
32. Like Brad Pitt and now Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo DiCaprio went from being a teenage heartthrob in movies like Titanic and Romeo + Juliet to reinventing himself as a diverse (and badass) actor that guys can also love and respect in films like Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York, The Departed, Inception, Django Unchained, The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street.
33. Leo is an animal lover. Along with the large amounts of money he has donated, Leo also joined the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s efforts in 2011 to save a tiger named Tony, who had spent ten years at a Tiger Truck Stop cafe in Louisiana.
34. He has mastered the art of being the guy women want and men want to be, such as when he played the corrupt mega-millionaire stockbroker Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street.
35. Though it’s always fun to see which lanky, 6-foot-tall blonde he’s sitting with courtside at a Laker’s game, we have to admit, Leo has excellent taste in women.
He’s dated Gisele Bundchen, Bar Refaeli and Blake Lively in the past decade, to name a few. His latest girlfriend is model Toni Garrn. We have to hand it to the guy; he’s doing bachelor life right.
36. Leo is the ultimate Oscar/Golden Globe underdog. He has been nominated for five Academy Awards and 10 Golden Globes, but he has only taken home two Golden Globes.
He has had so many significant roles in his career; it’s hard to believe he hasn’t won an Academy yet. However, we refuse to accept that Leo will always be a nominee but never a winner. Keep at it, Leo; your time is coming!
37. Leo and Robin Thicke are bros. The two have been friends since DiCaprio was on ‘Growing Pains’ with Robin’s dad, actor Alan Thicke.
When two sexy men are besties, it just increases their awesomeness, sort of like with other Hollywood bromances (think Matt Damon and Ben Affleck).
38. Leo’s beard and man-bun.
39. The short film Leo recently made called Green World Rising, released October 30, 2014, demands the use of 100 percent renewable energy.
40. For all of the reasons mentioned above, and because we know there are many more to come. We have been captivated, touched, intrigued and enchanted by the roles and philanthropic efforts; Leo has taken on thus far, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.