Leonardo DiCaprio is undoubtedly one of the most popular celebs in the world. He is known for playing popular roles on camera as well as off-camera. For instance, did you know that Leonardo DiCaprio was named Leonardo because his pregnant mother was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in a museum in Italy when DiCaprio first kicked? Today, we have gathered a list of some amazing facts that will totally change the way you look at Leo.
1. Leo owns a 104-acre island called Blackadore Caye, off the coast of Belize.
The Oscar-winner, who is also a well-known environmental activist, bought Blackadore Caye, 104 acres of wild, unpopulated land off the coast of Belize. During a phone conversation with The New York Times, he said, “It was like heaven on Earth! And almost immediately, I found this opportunity to purchase an island there”.
2. He’s turning the island into an eco-friendly resort.
With the help of Paul Scialla, the chief executive of Delos, a New York City-based developer, Leo is creating an eco-conscious resort there. The resort is named “Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island” and will contain sprawling villas, infinity pools and stunning sunset views. Talking to The Times, he said, “The main focus is to do something that will change the world. I couldn’t have gone to Belize and built on an island and done something like this, if it weren’t for the idea that it could be groundbreaking in the environmental movement.”
3. Leo can speak fluent German.
In fact, German is Leonardo DiCaprio’s second language. He was born in Los Angeles to an Italian/German father and a German mother, and often visited his maternal grandmother in Germany, where he was able to learn and practice his German.
Fun fact: Leo’s middle name is Wilhelm.
4. Leo once survived a plane accident.
While talking to Wired, Leo explained an event that almost cost his life. According to him, he was on a Delta Airlines flight to Russia: “I was in business class, and an engine blew up in front of my eyes. I was sitting there looking out at the wing, and the entire wing exploded in a fireball. 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”.
5. He also survived a skydiving incident where his parachute wouldn’t open.
“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 the ground. 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. And he finally unravels it in midair”.
Thankfully, Leo made a safe landing and quit his passion for skydiving after the incident.
6. Leo was named “Leonardo” because he started kicking “furiously” in his mom’s stomach while she was looking at a da Vinci painting in Florence.
While talking to NPR, he explained the funny story of how he got his name. “My father tells me that they were on their honeymoon at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, I believe. They were looking at a da Vinci painting, and allegedly I started kicking furiously while my mother was pregnant. And my father took that as a sign, and I suppose DiCaprio wasn’t that far from da Vinci. And so, my dad, being the artist that he is, said, “That’s our boy’s name”‘.
7. In 2013, Leo held an auction for 33 works of art. They raised $38 million that night for global charity initiatives. And in 2013, he donated $3 million to save tigers in Nepal.
Leo made the donation to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) via his charitable foundation and is expected to help increase the number of tigers in Nepal by 2022. In a statement, he said he’s “hopeful” the money will help “exceed the goal” of doubling Nepal’s tiger population. The BBC reports that the foundation has helped increase the tiger population in Nepal’s Terai Bardia National Park from 18 to 50.
8. In 2019, Leo saved a stranger who fell overboard on a yacht in the Caribbean.
The 45 year old actor got to play hero in real-life at the end of 2019 when a man fell off a yacht in the Caribbean and had to tread water for hours. Leo, his girlfriend and their friends were on a luxury vessel when an emergency call went out asking for help looking for the man. According to Britain’s The Sun newspaper, the man had been treading water for nearly 11 hours, and was nearly exhausted when DiCaprio’s vessel found him.
9. In Titanic, James Cameron drew Rose’s portrait, not Leo.
The Kate Winslet sketch that Jack supposedly drew in the movie Titanic was actually done by the film’s director James Cameron. Despite his many talents, Leo did not draw the portrait and in 2011, the sketch was sold for $16,000 at an auction.
10. Leo owns a giant pet tortoise that could live up to 80 years.
The 10-year-old Sulcata tortoise was purchased by Leo at a California pet store that specializes in rare reptiles. According to sources, DiCaprio purchased his new pet for $400. They are capable of growing to weigh 200 pounds and live up to 80 years. Good thing he can afford 70 years worth of food for his pet!
11. Leo and Kate Winslet paid for the nursing home fees for the last Titanic survivor.
Millvina Dean, the youngest passenger on the fated ship, was just nine weeks old when she boarded the liner in 1912. At 98 years old, she was facing a mountain of medical bills and crippling debt when Winslet, DiCaprio and director James Cameron read her story and decided to help. The “Titanic” actors and director made a “considerable donation” to the Millvina Dean Fund, that allowed her to live out the rest of her life in peace.
12. Leo will be one of the first celebs to become a space tourist. He bought a $250,000 ticket to fly on Virgin Galactic’s trips to space. The trips are 90 minutes long.
A carrier airplane hauls the SpaceShipTwo passenger rocket plane to an altitude of about 45,000 feet (13.7 kms) and releases it. A few seconds later, the SpaceShipTwo fires its engines and rockets itself and the passengers to more than 51 miles above Earth, which is high enough for the pilots to experience weightlessness and see the curvature of the planet. So far, nearly 700 people have bought tickets to have this one of a kind experience, which includes Leonardo DiCaprio. The 90-minute flight costs $250,000 per seat and a Russian billionaire paid $1.5 million to share the space trip with Leo.
According to HuffPost, the $1.5 million was paid by 37-year-old Russian real estate mogul Vasily Klyukin, who will spend a few days in training with actor Leonardo DiCaprio before flying to space on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo.