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A stock market hooligan, an FBI president and a teenage con artist extraordinaire are just a few of the roles in which Leonardo DiCaprio has used his talents to step into a number of real life figures throughout his career. And now, the actor who recently received his sixth Academy Award nomination for The Revenant, says he’s hoping to play Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
Leo met Vladimir Putin back in 2010 at a conference on protecting the Siberian tiger.
At the meeting, Putin praised Leonardo DiCaprio, who pledged a million dollars to the cause, calling him “a real man” for his persistence in getting to the St. Petersburg summit on saving tigers. Leo’s first plane had been forced to make an emergency landing after losing an engine and the second had to stop after encountering strong headwinds.
When speaking to Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper while promoting his latest film, Leo described the controversial politician as “very, very, very interesting”, adding: “I would love to play him.”
While the 41-year-old had the opportunity to study Putin first hand, he said they didn’t talk politics, telling the newspaper, “My foundation has provided financial support for several projects for the protection of these big cats. Putin and I talked only about the protection of these magnificent animals, not politics.”
He also revealed that he told the Russian president that he considered himself “half-Russian”, as two of his grandparents were Russian, and he said that he’d always wanted to take his grandmother to St Petersburg.
“I’m sure when you get to know St Petersburg you will be proud of your Russian roots,” Mr Putin responded.
Putin isn’t the only famous Russian the actor has his eye on. “I think there should be more films about Russian history because it has many stories worthy of Shakespeare. That is fascinating for an actor. Lenin also would be an interesting role. I would like also to star as Rasputin,” he said, adding, “Russia unites so many stories almost of Shakespearean character. For an actor, it’s extremely exciting.”
Considering Leo’s ancestry and experience, a major Russian role for the star seems inevitable.