Leonardo DiCaprio is an acclaimed actor with many blockbusters under his belt. From The Revenant to The Wolf of Wall Street, the actor has seemingly done it all. However, there is one film he still regrets turning down – Paul Thomas Anderson’s cult classic comedy movie Boogie Nights.
One of Quentin Tarantino’s favourite films, Boogie Nights, is a period piece that examines the Golden Age of Porn during the ’70s in Los Angeles. Mark Wahlberg stars as the titular character Eddie Adams, who becomes a pornstar under the hilarious alias, ‘Dirk Diggler’. The role would go on to shoot Wahlberg to stardom, helping him land parts in other iconic flicks such as Martin Scorsese’s The Departed and David O. Russell’s Three Kings. However, the Eddie Adams role was initially offered to DiCaprio, who turned it down to star in James Cameron’s hit romance movie, Titanic.
Despite Titanic being the third highest-grossing film of all time, and arguably making DiCaprio an A-list star – as he had been predominantly doing indie films prior – the actor told GQ, back in 2008, how he regretted not working with Anderson.
When asked if there were any films he regretted turning down, the actor said, “Boogie Nights is a movie I loved, and I wish I would’ve done”. However, the cultural phenomenon that was Titanic is nothing to scoff at, and DiCaprio knows that fact too. “I would have been happy to do them both. And the truth is, if I’d not done Titanic, I wouldn’t be able to do the types of movies or have the career I have now, for sure,” he explained. “But it would have been interesting to see if I had gone the other way.”
Anderson offered his opinion on almost casting DiCaprio in Boogie Nights during The Bill Simmons podcast. “There was no Leo vs Mark because Leo decided not to do the film”, the filmmaker clarified before going on to explain that he felt that ultimately casting Wahlberg was the right call. And looking at the actor’s stellar trajectory in Hollywood following his performance in Titanic, it seems that the final decision was for the best.
Currently, DiCaprio is filming Martin Scorsese’s new thriller movie Killers of the Flower Moon, where he will star alongside Brendan Fraser and Robert De Niro. He is also set to star as Teddy Roosevelt in an upcoming biopic on the American President, titled Roosevelt.