Leonardo DiCaprio has taken on plenty of challening roles in his career, from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape to The Wolf of Wall Street, and yet he still doesn’t have an Oscar for his trouble. I doubt that DiCaprio is choosing his roles specifically for the trophies he might win, but with The Revenant – the latest from Birdman director and Oscar-winner Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu –he’s definitely pushed himself to new levels of on-set discomfort.
In the film, based on the true story of legendary Mountain Man Hugh Glass, DiCaprio has to survive a gruesome bear attack and then find a way to survive long enough to exact revenge on the compatriots who left him for dead. It’s a powerful story full of struggles, and while many actors would happily pass the “struggles” of the story off on special effects or stunt doubles, DiCaprio apparently went all-in for this performance. How all-in? Well, he’s a vegetarian, but he ate raw bison liver for the sake of authenticity in this movie.
“I can name 30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, DiCaprio told Yahoo!. "Whether it’s going in and out of frozen rivers, or sleeping in animal carcasses, or what I ate on set. [I was] enduring freezing cold and possible hypothermia constantly. "I certainly don’t eat raw bison liver on a regular basis. When you see the movie, you’ll see my reaction to it, because Alejandro kept it in. It says it all. It was an instinctive reaction.”
So, when you go see The Revenant, just know that Leonardo DiCaprio went the extra mile for you, and that in this case the extra mile meant eating something most of us wouldn’t eat even if we were devoted carnivores.
The Revenant hits theaters in December.