Leonardo Dicaprio Improvised 'Don't Look Up's Most Impactful Line

Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up is filled with witty and meaningful dialogue. However, the most impactful line of the film is one that McKay, who wrote and directed the Netflix film, didn’t come up with. It is actually an improvised line by Leonardo DiCaprio. McKay thought the line was so brutally emotional that he had to keep it in Don’t Look Up

‘Don’t Look Up’ is a satirical comedy about the end of the world

In Don’t Look Up, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play two astronomers who discover that a comet is headed toward earth that will destroy the planet. The two try to warn everyone, yet everyone has different reactions. Politics, greed, and fame become entangled in the response to the comet as time begins to run out. 

The film is nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. It features a massive cast that also includes Rob Morgan, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Timothee Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, and Ron Perlman. 

Leonardo Dicaprio ends ‘Don’t Look Up’ with a surprisingly insightful line

Don’t Look Up ends with an actual bang where humanity pays the ultimate consequence as the comet hits earth and everyone dies. However, before that happens, Dicaprio’s character enjoys a final dinner with Lawrence and his family. As they sit around discussing apple pie, Dicaprio looks around and says “We really did have everything, didn’t we?”

In an interview with Variety, Mckay said that Dicaprio came up with this line in between takes. Mckay was so hit by the line that he knew he had to try it. 

“And he said, ‘You know, I feel like I should say something,’” McKay said. “And he said the line — he didn’t even read it in character. And immediately Cate, who’s this tough Texan, and I both immediately teared up, and my voice cracked a little bit.”

While McKay loved the line, he didn’t add it into the movie until post-production as he wasn’t sure how audiences would react to it. 

 “We were so afraid of it in the edit room because it just whacked us so hard,” McKay explained. “We didn’t even have it in the cut for a while. And then toward the end, we were like, ‘You know what? We’ve gotta try that line. And it was just the gut-punch of all gut punches.”

Dicaprio is used to improvising while acting

Dicaprio is one of the best actors in the industry right now. Part of being a great actor is being able to react to certain things and improvise. One of the most stories of improvisation came from Dicaprio while shooting Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained

Dicaprio plays Calvin Candie, a ruthless and powerful slave owner. During one of his villainous rants, Dicaprio slammed his hand on the table and sliced it on a piece of glass, causing his hand to bleed a lot. Instead of getting it dealt with immediately, Dicaprio continued the scene, bloody hand and all. In a 2013 interview with ABC News, the actor said he really enjoyed seeing the reactions from his co-stars and Tarantino. 

“That was the fun part, was watching their reactions,” Dicaprio said. “Boom it happened and then I opened my hand and then blood starts pouring everywhere and I saw Jamie [Foxx] go like this [makes shocked face].”

Don’t Look Up is now streaming on Netflix.

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