4 Things You Didn’t Know About Leonardo Dicaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most famous actors in the world; in the 1990s he impressed critics with his harrowing performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and earned legions of fan girls with his role in Titanic. Since then, Dicaprio has become well known for his complex, deep and typically dramatic roles—with a few exceptions, such as his wacky performance in the award-winning The Wolf of Wall Street. But how much do you really know about this star-studded actor? Let’s take a look at 4 things you didn’t know about Leonardo Dicaprio!

He once considered playing fellow heartthrob James Dean

Dicaprio is well known for his biographical roles, and it would likely come as no surprise to any Dicaprio fan that the actor was once seriously considering joining a film project about James Dean—another Hollywood hunk who was taken far too soon. Dicaprio was approached about playing Dean in the project; however, the actor decided to decline the role, since at the time he felt he was not yet experienced enough.

He auditioned for Batman Forever

Chris O’Donnell became a popular heartthrob after his appearance as Dick Grayson and Robin in Batman Forever and the critically planned Batman and Robin. However, O’Donnell was not the only actor to audition for the role. Among the many young actors who vied for the part was Dicaprio, who lost out to O’Donnell—which was perhaps a good thing, considering the quality of the films.

He was originally casted in American Psycho

Leonardo Dicaprio was the original actor cast as Patrick Batman in the horror thriller, American Psycho, based on a novel of the same named by Bret Easton Ellis. However, Dicaprio had to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts that could not be resolved, and the film’s producers were forced to look for another actor. Christian Bale was ultimately cast, and earned many accolades for his disturbing performance.

He helped support a Titanic survivor

Dicaprio, along with fellow Titanic co-star Kate Winslet, both gave financial support to Millvina Dean; Dean, the last living Titanic survivor, was living in a nursing home but was unable to pay for her bills. Dean would have been forced to sell her personal mementos—including remnants she kept from her trip on the Titanic—if Winslet and Dicaprio had not pledged to pay for her nursing home care.

To keep up on the latest from Leo check here.

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3 Reasons Why the Group Should Stop Splitting Up

Although the group was finally reunited in the first episode of season 5, the ‘Walking Dead’ characters have once again found themselves split up into multiple groups with their own goals, timeline and events. The main conceit of the second half of season 4 was that the group was split up and needed to find each other again. This concept worked because it was the first time that the group was so completely isolated from each other, and the simultaneous timelines were a great way for the characters to exhibit some unique character development.

However, enough is enough—it’s time for the writers to stop splitting the characters into groups with their own separate stories. If you need more convincing, consider the following three reasons why the “Walking Dead” group should stop splitting up.

#1: The timelines get frustrating
The non-simultaneous timelines in the second half of season 4 worked because it was the first time that the show really employed this technique, and many of the mysteries of the timelines created a great sense of anxiety and tension. Were Carol, Tyreese and baby Judith already at Terminus when Rick and his group were ambushed there? Were Daryl and Beth close enough to anyone in the group to find them?

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At this point, however, the characters have been separated for long enough and the “mysteries” of the alternate timelines are now more frustrating and sometimes downright annoying than they are intriguing or nail biting.

#2: It is better to have one or two great goals than multiple mediocre ones
It would have been better for the entire group to be dedicated to one goal—saving Beth, or going to D.C., or one right after the other—than for the group to be split and pursing several half-hearted goals at the same time.

#3: The group hasn’t had much of a chance for interaction
When the group finally came together again at the end of the first episode of season 5, fans thought that we would once again be treated to the interesting group dynamics that made the show so compelling. Carol and Rick’s relationship, for example, would have been interesting to explore again after the events of the season 5 opener. However, the group was—once again—split into teams and any potential interaction they have is now limited to a few choice characters.

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Two characters from The Walking Dead Comics We Want to See on the Show

It is no secret that The Walking Dead TV show has taken a lot of liberties from the storyline provided by the comics. Although the basic premise of the show is the same, and many of the characters in the show are based on characters found in the original comic series, there are a lot of differences between the two. Everything from the inclusion of new characters like Daryl Dixon to the alteration of character’s fates, like the extended life of Shane and the early death of Dale, have shown that the show is not afraid of diverging from its source material.

Although the show is not a carbon copy of the comics, there are some characters from the comic book series that we believe need to make an appearance on its television counterpart. The following are the top two characters from the original Walking Dead comic that we definitely want to see on the show.

Negan and his group

The character of Negan is one of the most controversial characters in the original comic. In the comic series, Negan and his group are the antithesis of everything that Rick and his group have come to stand for. Rick has learned that violence is not a means to an end, and that trying to lead with violence only leads to death and suffering. Negan, on the other hand, not only leads with violence but enjoys it—he is a true sadist who has no problem causing suffering, pain and death on his slightest whim. Seeing Rick and his group face the truly terrifying rule of Negan would give the show major tension and suspense.

And considering what befalls some of the characters in the Negan story arc in the comic, it might also cause some huge ripples in the show’s lineup. The fact that certain characters die or are dramatically altered by Negan may play a factor in whether or not he really does make an appearance—will the show runners risk killing off fan favorites for the sake of the comic’s story?

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Ezekiel and his group

If the show does bring in Negan, they will have to—or, more importantly, they should—bring in the character of Ezekiel and the group that he leads. Ezekiel is the true opposite of Negan—both are the leaders of their own group, but where Negan rules as a tyrant through fear and violence, Ezekiel is the “citizen king” who protects his people.

Although Ezekiel plays a huge role in the Negan storyline and his complex characterization would make for a richer show, there is one factor that might have the show runners reconsidering his inclusion: his domesticated tiger, Shiva. Will fans of the show accept a domesticated tiger as part of the show which has taken great pains to focus on the ‘reality’ of its world? Or will it be seen as too outlandish, even for a show populated by zombies? Only time will tell!

Must-Watch Episodes of the Vampire Diaries Season 2

Each season of the Vampire Diaries has been filled with its share of romance, thrills, scares and surprise. For this exact reason, it can be hard for fans of the show to pinpoint their favorite season. Out of all the up-till-now seasons of the show, however, it is the second season which delivered the most surprises. The second season of the show took a much darker and more serious turn than the first season, in addition to introducing characters like Elijah, who have since become one of the most popular characters in the show as well as the spin-off, The Originals. For those reasons (among others!) the second season is often considered the “fan favorite” season.

Every episode of the second season is worth watching for its own merits, but the following are the definite “must watch” episodes of this outstanding, fan favorite second season.

Episode 1: “The Return”

The seasons first episode was a whammy. Most shows would probably save what happened in the first episode for the climax of the season, but The Vampire Diaries had no problem pulling out all the stops in the season opener. The shock when Damon snapped Jeremys neck is still listed among the most shocking moments of the entire series. But most remarkable was Nina Dobrevs return as Katherine, proving that she was more than capable of playing two very different, very compelling roles.

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Episode 7: Masquerade

Masquerade was an episode full of changes, surprises—and definite shock.

If the previous episodes left doubt as to Katherines ruthlessness, Masquerade made no qualms about showing Stefanand the audiencejust how cruel she could be. During the much anticipated masquerade ball, Katherine showed Stefan just how far she was willing to go by casually snapping Aimee Bradleys spine in front of them before dumping her lifeless body in his arms.

But it was the ultimate fate of Katherine that left many viewers with their mouths hanging open. In one of the most surprising twists of the season, Elena, Damon and Stefan concocted a plan to trap Katherine in the very tomb that she had spent a century and a half trying to avoid. The masterful way they pulled off this surprising twist is what makes episode 7 of season two one of the must-see episodes of the entire season and the series.

Episode 8: “Rose”

The eighth episode of the second season introduced us to Elijah, one of the Originals, in a dramatic and violent way. With Elijahs introduction, the show introduced a character who was willing to do anything to get what he wantedincluding knocking off the head of Trevor with as little care as swatting a fly. Aside from our first introduction to Elijah, this episode is also worth watching because of the scenes between Stefan and Damon. For once, the often-quarreling Salvatore brothers were working side by side—without fighting, without trying to kill each other, both in pursuit of one common goal.

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Is Dracula Too Different from Source Material?

NBC’S new show Dracula is something of a complex beast. It has several things going for it, which will likely explain why it has developed a small cult following. The acting and charisma of its leading man, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, are a definite plus—he manages to take a character which might be melodramatic and boring and turn him into an attractive, intriguing vampire that the viewer wants to know more about. The character of Renfield, who is not a sniveling minion but a truly devoted, strong and intelligent man who agreed to serve Dracula after a dangerous encounter on a train, is another thing the show has done very well. A few other attributes—such as the costumes, the settings and the music—are also well done.

But although Dracula has developed a cult following, and does fairly well in DVR ratings for Friday nights, is this enough to keep the how going? Or is the show just too different from its original source material to truly get a grip (or a bite) on audiences?

This isn’t the first time that a director has decided to take Bram Stoker’s Dracula for a cinematic or television spin. There have been countless adaptations of the book in the past 100 years, some of them authentic to the novel’s story and others taking various liberties. The new NBC show, however, does more than “take various liberties.” The plot of the show and the plot of the original book are just about nothing alike. The only similarities come from the names, some of the relationships in their vaguest forms—and the fact that there are vampires involved.

Does the show take these liberties too far? Devoted fans of the novel would likely say “yes.” Aside from the aforementioned names and briefest of characteristics, NBC’s Dracula and Bram Stoker’s Dracula are nothing alike. Book devotees might argue that the show might as well be called something else entirely, since it does not abide by even the basic storyline of the original novel.

A counterargument to this particular argument set forth by fans of the book, however, involves looking at the impact of Bram Stoker’s Dracula on popular culture. Since the book’s release, and especially since the release of the classic film starring Bela Lugosi, Dracula has entered into the public imagination. He is not just the specific vampire from Bram Stoker’s novel—he can be found, in some trace, in every vampire novel, film and television show created since his first appearance on the page and screen.

Dracula, then, should not be regarded as a specific entity from a specific novel, but a classic character that can be molded and shaped to the liking of a writer or director or producer. Dracula, like other classic characters (to use a more benign example, Cinderella) does not belong solely in the realm of Bram Stoker’s fictional world, but in the world of the public, who can change him as they see fit.

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