We’ve all seen Leo’s movies. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Titanic. Catch Me If You Can. The Aviator. The Departed.
This year he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for the fifth time. The first four times he did not win. And he was the only major cast member not even nominated for Titanic.
Every year he attended the Oscars he watched someone else take home the coveted golden trophy. And what did he do next? He took on another project. He worked hard. He persevered.
He knew his time would come.
And this year, it did. He won the Best Actor Oscar for The Revenant.
The thing about Leo is that he is not only an amazing actor. He uses his fame for the greater good. Namely the planet we are all sharing, and its survival.
He has given millions of dollars to endeavours to save the environment. He went with John Kerry to Paris to rally for 195 countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions through The Paris Agreement. He met with Pope Francis to discuss climate change. He spoke at the United Nations and said, “This is not a partisan debate. It is a human one. Clean air and livable climate are inalienable human rights. Solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It’s a question of our own survival.”
And last night, when the world was watching him accept his first Oscar, he used his time wisely saying, “Making The Revenant was about man’s connection to the natural world. We felt in 2015 it was the hottest year on the planet. Climate change is real, it’s happening right now, it’s the most urgent threat affecting our entire species.” He also said, “We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity. For the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”
Leo can teach us a lot about never giving up and speaking up for what you believe in.
Cyndi Lauper once said, “People can save the world by the way they think and by the way they behave and what they hold to be important.” Thank you Leo for speaking up for the planet we all share and for the people who have no voice. And for inspiring us to do the same.