Awards season always also means "empathy for Leo" season, as each year comes and goes with the same ebb and flow about DiCaprio: Why hasn't Leo ever won an Oscar? He's taken on a ton of different roles in a ton of different films, and it all hasn't seemed to make a difference in his award chances — but here's one huge role Leonardo DiCaprio turned down: Anakin Skywalker.
George Lucas offered the part of the young Jedi-turned-Darth Vader (oops, spoiler alert) to Leo, according to Cinema Blend, and he passed on it. But, even though Leo is a wizard on the screen and could have easily been a Jedi, could even his presence have made the prequels any better?
He is only a man, after all, so honestly, I don't think Leo could have single-handedly redeemed Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith — but he could have helped. According to Cinema Blend, George Lucas tried to court DiCaprio in the early 2000s ahead of Attack Of The Clones (which was released in 2002). Leo was still a youngin' of 25, having just appeared in the greatest boat love story of all time, Titanic, and he was a hot commodity.
According to the Guardian in 2000, DiCaprio went to Skywalker Ranch for a "secret meeting" and confessed he would like to take the role. He ultimately turned down Lucas' offer, though, and told the ShortList that he "didn't feel ready to take the dive" at that point.
And Dicaprio is no fool. Whether it was Leo accessing some true Jedi Force inside himself or just making the best decision for himself at the time, he was lucky he didn't star in the prequels. Though the original trilogy launched careers, the prequels almost killed them — as Natalie Portman told New York Magazine : "Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me." So... maybe Leo dodged a bullet. But still, it's nice to entertain the fantasy that Leo could have been a Jedi.
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