Before he sailed the Atlantic with Kate Winslet in Titanic and survived a ferocious bear attack in The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio was just trying to sell you some toys. After taking home the best actor SAG for his latest gritty, 1800s-themed adventure flick on Saturday night, the 41-year-old star not only expressed his love for acting (“I just have so much respect for this art form,” he told reporters), but also reminisced on his first-ever role.
Sure, DiCaprio is known for wowing in early ‘90s films like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, but his first experience in front of the cameras didn’t exactly have blockbuster results. “My first role was a Matchbox cars commercial. I played a little gangster, slicked back hair,” he admitted. “What did I learn from it? I was just so incredibly nervous. I remembered, the lesson I learned from it was just, ‘know your lines.’ Really. Just get that over with because once you learn your lines, then you can kind of settle into all the other moments in the scene. That’s the other piece of advice I give actors.”
So is all of the actor’s recent success a sign of what’s to come? It certainly appears that way. Next up, DiCaprio is up against other megawatt A-listers for a possible first-ever Oscar for Best Actor—and we’ll definitely tune in to see the results.
—With reporting by Brandi Fowler