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DiCaprio and Director Open Up About The Revenant’s Brutal Shoot

If you've seen The Revenant, you know that this dramatic film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu is a gritty and harrowing ride that challenges the average moviegoer's endurance as well as the main character's.

The film is nominated for multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, which if won would be his first. While those scores won't be settled until tonight's awards ceremony, some tales of The Revenant's incredibly challenging shoot can be shared in the words of DiCaprio, director Inarritu and some of their crew. Here are some snippets from the article linked below:

The actors entered into a real-life frozen jungle during a seven-month shoot in Alberta, Canada, using natural light (shot by cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki) and fending off frostbite in temperatures that plunged to 40 degrees below zero. If that wasn’t grueling enough, a lack of snow near the end of the shoot forced the production to shut down last spring, and add six days in July — mid-winter — in Argentina, which tacked millions to the already inflated budget, while Inarritu had to cobble together an edit without an ending.

The cast set up shop overnight in small villages, and would drive — for up to two hours each day — to the uncovered set. “It was bizarre, because we were making a big movie with a small camera team,” says Lubezki, who wore six layers of thermal clothes to keep warm. “We didn’t have normal gear. We didn’t have lights.”

The lack of a cellphone signal meant that crew members had to relay messages via snowmobiles. The first few months were plagued by nonstop storms and threats of frostbite. But despite the harsh weather, DiCaprio insists he was never injured. He did, however, get sick repeatedly. “I got the flu quite a few times,” he allows. In one scene, where the other men in his troop carry him up a hill on a stretcher, Glass lets out a guttural cough. That’s not, in fact, acting, but DiCaprio spewing out phlegm. Inarritu tells a story about how, after a recent SAG screening, an actor approached him to ask: “Was that ADR?” Inarritu laughs.

Read more about the brutal shoot for The Revenant at Variety.

Image: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

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