Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of a betrayed 19th-century frontiersman seeking revenge in The Revenant has won him his first Academy Award, having missed out on four previous occasions.
The 41-year-old actor was the favourite to win after picking up both a Golden Globe and a Bafta for his performance. The film, which has won a number of awards at this year’s ceremony, tells the true story of Hugh Glass, who battled his way through the wilderness after being left for dead.
DiCaprio beat out competition from last year’s winner Eddie Redmayne and Michael Fassbender. He had previously been nominated for his work in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street.
He used his speech to warn about the effects of global warming. “Climate change is real and it’s happening right now,” he said. “It’s the most urgent threat affecting our species.” He added: “Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take this night for granted.”
The actor’s commitment to the role had received a lot of attention. DiCaprio was said to have eaten raw bison liver and slept in animal carcasses. The film also picked up Oscars for best cinematography and best director for Alejandro González Iñárritu.
He has a number of projects in the offing but is yet to confirm what next role will be. He is loosely attached to work again with Martin Scorsese on the true story of serial killer HH Holmes, and is also set to produce a film about the Volkswagen emissions scandal.