The 41-year-old star finally got the recognition he deserves, receiving the best actor award for his role in The Revenant, at the 88th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. DiCaprio used his acceptance speech to highlight the issue of climate change.
“Climate change is real – it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat right now to our entire species and we need to work now. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted,” he said, also thanking the cast of the movie.
READ MORE: Chris Rock rips into racism at the Oscars
“I’ve always just adored stories, hearing them, seeing them, being in them. So, for me to have the chance to work with one of the greatest storytellers of our time, Steven Spielberg, has just been such an honour.”
Kate Winslet had been expected to win best supporting actress, but lost out to Brie Larson for her role in Room. Also contrary to expectation, Mark Rylance took the best supporting actor prize for his part in Bridge of Spies, leaving favourite-to-win Sylvester Stallone empty handed.
Chris Rock, the evening’s host, addressed the controversial lack of diversity in the Oscars. In the lead-up to the awards ceremony, a number of black actors and film makers criticised the Academy for excluding black people from, not only the awards, but also the film industry as a whole.
READ MORE: Halle Berry opens up about Oscars diversity
“Everyone wants to know in the world, is Hollywood racist?” Rock asked. “Is it ‘burning-cross racist’? No. Is it ‘fetch me some lemonade racist’? No. It’s a different type of racist. . . . Hollywood is ‘sorority racist.’ It’s like, we like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.”
“We want opportunity,” Rock concluded. “We want black actors to get the same opportunities,” Fox News quoted him saying