How Leonardo DiCaprio as Dirk Diggler Would Have Impacted Hollywood

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Leonardo DiCaprio

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Leonardo DiCaprio

It was only a matter of time before Leonardo DiCaprio emerged from his cozy Hollywood nook and back out into the spotlight. As he prepares for the swarm of attention sure to follow his next film with Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf of Wall Street," we'll hang onto his every move and every word. We'll comb through pieces of media for bits of nifty trivia. As the enormity of this epic film looms ahead, we'll think about other epic roles he's had---like that in "Titanic."

Few realize that DiCaprio passed on the leading role in another memorable 1997 movie, "Boogie Nights" to star in James Cameron's Oscar-winning monster. That's right. Can you imagine Leo as a famous porn star? How might things have been different if DiCaprio was Dirk Diggler instead of Mark Wahlberg? We can only imagine…


"Titanic" might not have been as big a hit, even for infamous director James Cameron.

While we can all agree that Mark Wahlberg is a good actor, the thing that made "Titanic" such a crowd favorite is the chemistry between Leo and actress Kate Winslet. Would the epic tale have been as big a success at the box office with another actor in the role? Perhaps. But the film's ultimate "kitsch" may have been lost.

DiCaprio and Wahlberg might have switched roles in the 2006 film, "The Departed."

As luck would have it, these two ended up on the same side of the law in the 2006 crime flick, "The Departed." Would the dynamic of this movie been different had the two actors swapped characters? This film was so action-packed there might have been no difference. But with Wahlberg as the squirrelly undercover cop, at least DiCaprio would have made it to the end of the movie.

"The Perfect Storm" (2000) might never have received Academy Award attention.

If we're to believe that Diggler was one of many roles Leo could have swiped from Wahlberg, then it's safe to assume his next "big" movie might have been "The Perfect Storm" instead of "The Beach" (which earned him a Razzie nomination). Placing the "Inception" star on another boat shortly after "Titanic" might have been overkill. Thus, no Oscar nods.

The odd similarity…

What's interesting is the strange similarity between both characters Dirk Diggler and Jack Dawson: basically penniless dreamers who ended up where they were by some sheer stroke of luck. It is interesting to wonder how one particular movie role could alter one's career path. One is a child star-turned-Hollywood Lothario, the other's a rapping underwear model-turned-family man. Would Leo's run as Diggler have derailed either man's career? Not likely.

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