The Evolution Of Leo's Crying Face

by Keertana Sastry

What's more impressive than Leonardo DiCaprio's great looks and acting skills in pretty much every movie he's ever made? It might seem like there is no right answer, but there is. It's his crying face. Yup, that's right. Like Claire Danes but for men, in most of DiCaprio's movies viewers can catch a glimpse at his extremely versatile crying face, whether he's happy, sad, miserable, angry, or anything in between. Some of DiCaprio's best early crying moments come from the film The Basketball Diaries, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this week. And in honor of that impressive performance and the unforgettable moments that made DiCaprio bust out his great weapon, we celebrate the evolution of Leonardo DiCaprio's crying face.

As we all know by now, DiCaprio began his ridiculously successful run in Hollywood on TV. And while he was already achieving heartthrob status on shows like Growing Pains, his big break really came when he made the transition from TV to film in 1992 with the movie The Boy's Life opposite Robert DeNiro. But there are certain iconic DiCaprio crying moments we all know and love. For example, show me someone who doesn't know about his excellent crying work as the heroin addicted teenage ball player in Basketball Diaries, or his "I Defy You Stars!" moment from Romeo + Juliet? That's the stuff we celebrate here. That's the stuff that made him a star.

This Boy's Life Showed Us The Subtle Crying Face In Its Early Stages

Perhaps DiCaprio was still learning about how to properly cry on camera so he thought the more subtle, the better. It's not a bad technique for a first-timer, but the actor has proved over the years, he's so much better than this.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape Gave Us The Abused Crying Face

When subtlety didn't work, DiCaprio went the opposite way with this extreme crying face. To be fair, the actor was playing a character who is mentally disabled and had a tough time controlling his emotions. So within the confines of the story, it worked wonders (especially considering this film got DiCaprio his first Oscar nomination). But as a crying face goes, not the most memorable in DiCaprio's repertoire.

The Basketball Diaries Combined The Two For This Moment Of Heartbreak

This is where the perfect of the crying face really began. Here we see DiCaprio's true talents in the cry face department start to really shine. From here, nothing can stop him from being the best of the best.

Romeo + Juliet Brought Out The Dramatic Cry & Gave Us The Single-Tear Shed

This is the moment most of us probably remember the best when thinking about DiCaprio's incredible crying face history. It's the perfect level of drama, anger, betrayal, and immeasurable sadness all combined in one single Shakespearean line. But that's not all.

The film also showed us DiCaprio's talent to shed just a single or a couple of tears at a time that frame his face perfectly. How is this even possible?

The Aviator Introduced DiCaprio's Concentration Cry

This is the clear cut "I'm working my ass off to cry and stifle my tears at the same time" look that DiCaprio is known for in many of his films. And The Aviator is where we really got to see it first in all its glory.

The Departed Cry Was Filled With Anger

This is the angry, and "I'm so screwed" cry face.

Which Was Made Even More Heartbreaking & Sob-Inducing With Revolutionary Road

This is that same face mixed with betrayal, depression, love, hate, horrified cry face. It's also the most heartbreaking DiCaprio cry face and moment from all of his movies, in my opinion. This movie wrecked me completely.

Shutter Island Combined The Anger, Concentration & Abused Cry Faces For Maximum Cry Face

Oof! It's almost too much.

And The Great Gatsby Brought Back The Subtle Cry With Added Style

How can DiCaprio still be so classy and ooze style even while crying and being vulnerable about his greatest love?

What's so dang cool about DiCaprio's cry face is that we never know which one to expect because they've all evolved in so many ways. Who knows, maybe we'll get another new one in the future? I'm definitely looking forward to that.

Images: Screenshot/New Line Cinema; Giphy (11)