The Wolf of Wall Street is an all-things-considered pretty entertaining movie, and I say that as someone who hates overlong movies more than anything. At three hours, it holds your attention, provokes you a bit, and shows you more frontal female nudity than even Gordon Gekko could handle. To celebrate (I guess?), let’s count down dreamy dreamster Leo DiCaprio’s 10 hottest moments.
10. This culturally essential meme.
I cannot think of a better internet meme than this. It’s a candid photo of Leonardo DiCaprio looking giddy and dorky as hell. Rejoice. They’re rare, but when we get happy-go-lucky moments from L.D., it’s important that they turn into cultural institutions. It makes him seem damn cute.
9. This insane dancing from The Wolf of Wall Street.
A lot of boring, not-that-controversial controversy is springing up around The Wolf of Wall Street, but here’s a new brouhaha to babble about: Leo’s stupid, cocky dancing is hot. Most of the time when I watch a Leo film, I think: “This is someone actively trying to look serious.” Here he is blindsiding you with goofiness and looking fine as he does it. Alarmingly nutty. Well done.
8. Basketball Diaries:
Leo plays a high school basketball star who becomes a junkie in The Basketball Diaries, but let’s not forget the facts: He was 20 when he filmed this and often shirtless as things got crazy. Though it’s Juliette Lewis who steals the show in a bit part, Leo’s lank-haired shenanigans are alluring.
7. This ridiculous Annie Leibovitz photo of Leo and a swan.
Leonardo should always be done up with that slicked-back vampire ’do. He wears it better than Johnny Depp and won’t ever get the credit for it. By the way: He’s holding a damn swan here because Annie Leibovitz ordained it. Oh, Annie. Not all of your decisions can be on par with Mark Wahlberg and those tighty whities.
6. Catch Me If You Can: Because nothing is hotter than an overconfident liar.
Can you believe there was a time when we thought all Amy Adams would ever do is Catch Me If You Can? The mind boggles. Leo is slick and fun as con artist Frank Abagnale in Catch Me if You Can (and I particularly love the To Tell the Truth sequence in the beginning of the movie — that’s the real Kitty Carlisle!). Though there’s a love scene, Leo’s clear-eyed confidence is the true sexiness here.
5. Django Unchained: The Candyman Can
Yep, “Monsieur” Calvin J. Candie is a repulsive character who makes grown men brawl to the death in front of him, but there are a few things about Leo’s character in Django Unchained sexier than you’d think: 1) He looks like a Jack in a deck of playing cards. 2) The character is pretty damn funny. 3) It’s Leo’s best performance of the past decade, and I really wish he took more roles where he exhibits a devil-may-care attitude. He’s more fun when he’s… more fun. You know.
4. Titanic: Jack Dawson’s peasant phase
People forget that Leonardo DiCaprio is the absolute midpoint between “Gen X angst hotness” and “late ’90s boy band hotness.” He seamlessly transitioned from baggy flannels to flip-haired dreaminess, and I can’t say that about anyone else. In Titanic, he shows off his hair flair and makes a Newsie costume seem perfectly libidinous. It was a look! And it goes very well with his deep, thoughtful squint.
3. Titanic: Jack Dawson’s glammed-up scenes
When Jack Dawson appears at the bottom of the Titanic balustrade looking like Rhett Butler’s rentboy nephew, my heart sinks. (Apologies to everyone, including Molly Brown.) But this is how Leo should look: slick, sultry, with nothing getting in the way of his doll-like visage. This is a man who looks like Hello Kitty. Let us see that button nose in its full glory.
2. Romeo + Juliet: Two gorgeous eyes alike in dignity
All these years later, Romeo + Juliet still marks one of Leo’s most impassioned performances. In Baz Luhrmann’s nutty spectacular, he waves around a gun like a mad man, recites iambic pentameter like a poetry slam champ, and just looks amazing. In a completely surreal film, he’s what made the proceedings believable and exciting. And sexy as hell.
1. The Beach: Because duh.
There can only be three true choices for Leo’s sexiest role: Titanic, Romeo + Juliet, and The Beach. All three concern burgeoning sexual desire, so that makes the narrowing-down process pretty easy. In The Beach, he’s perfectly groomed, perfectly near-nude most of the time, and not averse to making love in the sand. I think our work is done here. Virginie Ledoyen, come back to us!