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Leonardo DiCaprio wins best actor Oscar for ‘The Revenant’

By AFP February 29th, 2016 2 min read


Hollywood A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio finally bagged Oscars gold on Sunday for his grueling star turn in “The Revenant,” 22 years after his first Academy Award nomination.

DiCaprio edged out Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo“), Matt Damon (“The Martian“), Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs“) and Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl“) to take the best actor statuette.

DiCaprio won a standing ovation as he accepted the award — one of the most highly anticipated moments of the night. He had been nominated six times in total, five of them for acting roles.

The 41-year-old film veteran thanked a long list of figures who have helped him in his career, including Martin Scorsese, before speaking on his passion — climate change.

“Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work together and stop procrastinating,” he said to applause.

“We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world,” he said.

The director of the film, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu gave Mexico a best director triumph at the Oscars.

Inarritu — winning his second straight Academy Award — beat Adam McKay (“The Big Short“), George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road“), Lenny Abrahamson (“Room“) and Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”) to the honour.

Inarritu hailed his latest Oscar as a tribute to diversity — a major issue at the latest Oscars, where non-whites were absent from the nominees lists in the acting categories.

“There is a line in the film that says, ‘They don’t listen to you when they see the colour of your skin’,” Inarritu said.

“So what a great opportunity to our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and, you know, this way of thinking and make sure for once and forever that the color of skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.”