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Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Django Unchained': Are you ready to see him play a bad guy?

June 8, 2011 |  6:23 pm


It's no surprise that Leonardo DiCaprio would sign on for a role in a Quentin Tarantino movie. The filmmaker is one of the few big-name directors with whom the 36-year old actor hasn't already worked -- he's previously collaborated, of course, with Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan, and he will next partner up with Aussie director Baz Luhrmann in "The Great Gatsby."

What is surprising is that DiCaprio is in talks for a supporting role in Tarantino's slavery revenge tale, "Django Unchained," a really, really despicable role. The part, according to press reports, is for Calvin Candie, the plantation owner and slave proprietor who gets his jollies out of watching slaves fight to the death and has no problem beating his own when they don't follow orders.

DiCaprio can clearly do wonders with character -- his Howard Hughes in "The Aviator" and Billy Costigan in "The Departed" were plenty tormented and conflicted -- but he's before never portrayed a truly evil man. Although the role of Candie in "Django Unchained" would be a complete about-face for DiCaprio, do audiences really want to see the heartthrob tackle a nasty, heartless character?

Time will tell. "Django Unchained" is supposed to begin filming at the end of the year. No word still on who will play the hero of the film, though Will Smith is supposedly considering the part. It would be a remarkable feat if Tarantino could land both actors to go mano-a-mano in a project that's destined to generate as least as much controversy as the director's most recent movie, "Inglourious Basterds."

--Nicole Sperling

Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio in"The 11th Hour." Credit: Chuck Castleberry / Eleventeen Productions

Comments () | Archives (3)

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Wow is this ever a slobber piece on DiCaprio. Personally, I've never bought him as a man, and certainly not as Howard Hughes. He's far too soft and doughy. And he still acts as if he's just walked out of an arcade in the 80s. He played the same role in his last two films the same, boring way: "Inception" and "Shutter Island." Maybe he's a woman's version of a man (especially in these emasculating times of hairless girly-men), but he's no a tough guy compared to real men of the cinema (McQueen, Bronson, et al).

I think he would play a bad guy very well. I enjoyed his role in Blood Diamonds. I don't understand why people have to constantly compare one actor to another. I watch and enjoy any given film based on the subject matter not necessarily which actor is in it. If the script is well written and a director has actors that can be coached during the filming process then there is a fair chance that the film will at least recuperate its costs and hopefully put some money in the bank.

Are we ready to see Leo play a bad guy? Yes, indeed! He's proven himself to be a versatile actor so he can easily play this type of character. Besides, he's already played a villain before (In 1998's The Man In the Iron Mask, the evil twin; "WEAR IT UNTIL YOU LOVE IT!!!"), so I don't see the big deal about the villain part.
Everyone is also going on about how Will Smith shouldn't do this film, but I actually think he's perfect for it. Given the right material, he's awesome (Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness, I Am Legend), besides being an awesome actor in the first place.


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