Leonardo DiCaprio has warned cinemagoers they will feel like voyeurs when they see the much-hyped scene involving him and a bear in The Revenant.
In the film the 41-year-old actor stars as Hugh Glass, a frontiersman who vows to get revenge on the friends who leave him for dead after he is attacked by the wild animal. Much has been made of the violent sequence, after movie bosses were forced to deny claims Leonardo’s character is raped by a bear on screen earlier in December (15).
Now the actor has weighed in on the reports, refusing to be drawn on exact details but insisting it is one of the most shocking sequences ever seen on film.
“I’m not at real liberty to speak to you about exactly how (the director, Alejandro González Iñárritu) pulled this off,” he told ABC’s 7.30 programme.
“What he achieves cinematically is something that I think is very ground-breaking, and that is the ability for an audience to be in a sort of very raw, violent, savage bear attack, yet feel the intimacy of both man and beast.
“You feel the sweat, and the heat coming off the animal. It’s almost like he awakens other senses within you as an audience member, and you feel like you’re some voyeuristic animal watching something that you shouldn’t be watching.”
The scene comes early in the movie and Leonardo believes people have speculated about it because it is unlike anything shown in cinema before. He puts the success of it squarely at the director’s feet, praising him for his vision but refusing to be drawn on any of his secrets.
“So much of the director’s technique is something that he wants to keep to himself because he loves the idea of audiences submerging themselves in something that is almost like virtual reality,” he said. “But I will say that it involved months of rehearsal and it involved him watching 100 different bear attacks.”
Leonardo is being tipped for Oscar glory thanks to the role, which has seen him nominated for the best actor SAG and Golden Globe Award already. He certainly took the shoot seriously, previously revealing he got into character by eating raw bison liver.
“The bad part is the membrane around it,” he told Variety. “It’s like a balloon. When you bite into it, it bursts in your mouth.”
– Cover Media