20th Century Historical Figures Leonardo DiCaprio Should Portray

J. Edgar, the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic about J. Edgar Hoover, found its way into my Blu-ray player the other day. The film stars everyone’s favorite Growing Pains alumnus, Leonardo DiCaprio. If you’re keeping track, DiCaprio has now portrayed J. Edgar Hoover, Howard Hughes, Frank Abagnale Jr., and even author Jim Carroll. Portraying 20th century figures in movies seems to be a niche for DiCaprio. In case DiCaprio needs any help filling roles, he should give me a call. I have some ideas for some other 20th century historical figures he should portray.

Deep Throat
The best part of this role is that nobody knows what Deep Throat looked like. Nobody knew who he was. In other words, you wouldn’t even have to worry about using makeup, which seems to be one of the things that annoyed people about J. Edgar. Ok, ok… I know that it was reported in 2005 that Deep Throat was a guy named Mark Felt, but let’s pretend that never happened.

Eleanor Roosevelt
What would make this portrayal so nice and tidy is that he’d come full circle, having already portrayed the FBI director who spied on her in J. Edgar. Besides, he was let off the hook in J. Edgar because he didn’t have to wear a dress. He couldn’t get away with that in this film.

Ed Sullivan
Put aside DiCaprio for a second. Think of all the possibilities for cameos. Think of the star power you could cram into that movie. And then use DiCaprio’s penchant for 20th century historical figure biopics to hold it all together.

Lucky Luciano
I don’t care how many organized crime films Martin Scorsese has made. I’ll always want more of them. And since DiCaprio is his preferred actor, this almost seems like a no-brainer. I don’t even care if it’s Luciano. Pick any organized crime figure from the 20th century, and let Scorsese and DiCaprio go to work.

Sacco or Vanzetti or Whatever
It doesn’t really matter which role is filled by DiCaprio. The story is fascinating. Better yet, use CGI to put DiCaprio in both roles. I can hear the trailer now. “Leonardo DiCaprio is Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Leonardo DiCaprio is Nicola Sacco, in an Oliver Stone film”, and then that Joan Baez song (Here’s to You) would play over the trailer clips.

Neil Armstrong
Sending Leonardo DiCaprio to the moon while memorializing the moon landing? That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.

One of the Kennedys
Nothing screams “20th century historical figure biopic” like the presence of a Kennedy. If it’s not DiCaprio, then you know they’ll cast Matt Damon or one of the Afflecks. Casting any of those Bostonians seems a little too direct for my tastes, and it would unseat DiCaprio as the King of Biopic Mountain. JFK has been overdone, and Teddy’s memory is still too fresh. I’d recommend Joseph Sr. or Jr.

Winston Churchill
Leonardo DiCaprio + a fat suit + an assload of cigars + an even bigger assload of Scotch = movie magic. And by advocating this, it’s a cheap ploy to bring more attention to my alma mater, Westminster College, which is where Churchill gave the Iron Curtain address.

Checkers the Dog
Viewing the pre-Presidential nefariousness of Richard Nixon from the point of view of a dog would be excellent. And only one person is qualified to voiceover the dog. Hint: his name rhymes with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Charles Manson
A Manson biopic is long overdue. Since nobody else gets to star in 20th century historical figure biopics, Leo is the choice.


Filed under Humor, Movies

29 responses to “20th Century Historical Figures Leonardo DiCaprio Should Portray

  1. LOL! DiCaprio as Checkers the dog is absolutely inspired. If Bruce Willis can do the voice of a baby, then why not this?

    Technical question for you… how do you do these photo mash ups? I assume Photoshop, but which version? Can it be done using Elements or do you have to go for the whole enchilada? Thanks for your help!

    • My home version is Photoshop CS3. At work, it’s CS5 and we’re about to get the upgrade to CS6. I’ve never used Elements, so I’m not really sure.

      To walk you through the process, I opened a photo of DiCaprio that I thought would fit; used the quick select tool at a size of about 10 pixels at 15% (you want a feathered edge with something like this); copied Leo’s face, and pasted it into the original image (say, the Eleanor/FDR photo) as a new layer; moved his face into position; used quick select on the original image layer to select the stuff that should be on top of Leo’s face (Eleanor’s hair, coat, hat, and that feather thing), again with lots of feathering; then I used the eraser tool, with a very soft edge, on Leo’s face to make it blend better; and then I went to Filter > Noise > Add Noise (with the Leo layer selected) to make it a little grainy so it’d work with the older photo of Eleanor/FDR. I probably should’ve played with the Curves a little because the Leo layer is darker than the rest of the photo. But it’s close.

      • Fascinating! We have a little project in mind where we take a photo of something “new” and paste it into various scenes from around the world and throughout history (all very Hush Hush for now). Sounds like Photoshop is what I need. If only it weren’t so expensive!

        Thanks for the info!

        • You know what you might try, G-Lo… Gimp. For a few months there, I didn’t have Photoshop so I used Gimp instead. And it was a little clunky, but mostly because I’m so used to the Photoshop terminology that I couldn’t find what I wanted (Gimp does a lot of the same stuff but it’s named differently). Anyway, it’s free, and it can do a lot of the same stuff.

  2. Delilah

    Wow! Kudos on the idea and the Photoshop skills. I have CS3, but I don’t think I will ever master the art of blending photos like that. Thanks for the step by step though…now I must go create something. Hmm, I’m thinking Joaquin Phoenix as the main character in remakes of thriller movies….alll directed by M. Night Shamalan. LOL!!

    • The big step I’ve learned to take in the last year or so is using the eraser tool with a very soft edge to go around faces. You’ll get there if you keep trying, for sure.

  3. I think Leo has a very “20th Century” face. Like there are actors who like very Edwardian or Middle Age-y, and Leo just fits into the 1900-1960s.
    I think he’d be great as Winston Churhill, one of the Kennedys, or Neil Armstrong. Definitely Neil Armstrong.

    • I know exactly what you mean. It’s the same way that someone like Brendan Gleeson can do pretty much anything pre-1950. He has the face for it.

  4. surroundedbyimbeciles

    I would like to see him as Evel Knievel or Bobby Fischer, two off-the-wall icons of the 70s.

  5. The guy who met Kevin Meany

    After Hal Holbrook played Deep Throat in All the President’s Men, I’m not sure if anyone else can play him. His portrayal of DT in the dark parking garage in Rosslyn, VA has been copied (mostly in comedies) ever since.

  6. Ahahaha, Leo should definitely call you, John!! ROTFL on Bartolomeo Vanzetti, hey both of them have such a mouthful name, great choice. But no female historical figure?? How about Madeleine Albright or Angela Merkel, I mean Leo’s ancestry is German right? 😀

  7. Yeah, you’d think Hollywood would make some type of Deep Throat movie (aside from that Linda Lovelace biopic they’re doing now). I’d totally go see a Checkers the dog movie…who to get to play Nixon opposite Leo’s Checkers though?

  8. Hi there! Great choices, let’s get Leo in full on psycho mode for Manson! That would be brilliant!

    • That one was my “reach”. Can you imagine that phone call from his agent? “Hey, Leo. I’ve got a role for you. But hear me out. You’re going to play a very charismatic leader… sort of… from the 60s.”

      Leo: “Sounds great! Who is it?”

      Agent: “Uh… Charlie Manson”.

  9. Deep Throat and Lucky Luciano are ingenious picks. But ol’ DiCap as Charlie Manson could get him his Oscar. I’d see the shit out of that movie.

  10. Also, I’m totally on board with Leo and Scorsese and any gangster as well as Leo as a Kennedy. Any time there are Boston accents I want a piece of that action.

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