Leonardo DiCaprio Recalls Death-Defying Experiences As He Promotes ‘The Revenant’
Leonardo DiCaprio has cheated death three times in his life and lived to tell the tale.
The movie star is winning great reviews for his role as a real-life bear-attack survivor in The Revenant, and he has opened up about his own near-death experiences in a plane, a shark cage and while skydiving.
The actor told Wired magazine a great white shark “jumped into my cage when I was diving in South Africa.”
“Half its body was in the cage, and it was snapping at me,” he recalled. “They leave the tops open and you have a regulator line running to the surface. Then they chum the water with tuna. A wave came and the tuna sort of flipped up into the air. A shark jumped up and grabbed the tuna, and half its body landed inside the cage with me. I sort of fell down to the bottom and tried to lie flat. “The great white took about five or six snaps an arm’s length away from my head. The guys there said that has never happened in the 30 years they’d been doing it.”
And DiCaprio recalled staying calm after watching an engine explode on a plane in which he was a passenger:
“I was the only one looking out at the moment this giant turbine exploded like a comet. It was crazy. They shut all the engines off for a couple of minutes, so you’re just sitting there gliding with absolutely no sound, and nobody in the plane was saying anything. It was a surreal experience. They started the engines back up, and we did an emergency landing at JFK.”
But a skydiving mishap really brought his life – and the ground – flashing in front of him.
“It was a tandem dive,” he explained. “We pulled the first chute. That was knotted up. The gentleman I was with cut it free. We did another free fall for like another five, 10 seconds. I didn’t even think about the extra chute, so I thought we were just plummeting to our death. He pulled the second, and that was knotted up too. He just kept shaking it and shaking it in mid-air, as all my friends were, you know, what felt like half a mile above me, and I’m plummeting toward earth. He finally unravels it in mid-air. The fun part was when he said, ‘You’re probably going to break your legs on the way down, because we’re going too fast now’.”
The Revenant opens in limited release on Christmas Day and nationwide January 15.