Leonardo DiCaprio feels “overwhelmed” by the support of fans who backed him to end his Academy Awards drought ahead of his first Oscar win on Sunday.
The Revenant star’s bad luck at the Academy Awards over the years has seen him leave without a prestigious golden statue five times after being nominated.
The 41-year-old’s run of near-misses caused well-wishers across the world and within the film industry to send messages of support to the actor ahead of the Los Angeles ceremony, and after his Best Actor win he expressed his shock and delight at the level of public backing he’d received.
“It all feels incredibly surreal, because you can’t reach out and physically meet everybody,” he told Us magazine. “You hear it on the Internet, you hear it from other people, and we always strive for the best in what we do. But this year in particular, I’ve been overwhelmed with such support.
“Really, truly, (I’ve had support from) so many fans and so many people in the industry, it’s quite shocking, actually,” he said, looking stunned. “And what can you say except I’m very grateful, I really am.”
The Hollywood superstar went on to say that he was especially thankful to be honored, as it had given him the chance to use his acceptance speech to talk about his passion for saving the environment.
“This whole thing has been an amazing experience,” he said. “And for me to be able to sit there and not only talk about the film, but to talk about something that I’ve been duly as obsessed with besides cinema, and that’s our environment and climate change – to be able to speak about that in a platform of hundreds of millions of people that are watching this.”
The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was also victorious, taking home the prize for Best Director.