Best actor Oscar-winner alludes to Trump and Cruz, criticising ‘candidates who don’t believe in modern science’ while promoting The Revenant in Tokyo
Leonardo DiCaprio used a Japanese press conference for the Oscar-winning western The Revenant to launch a thinly veiled attack on Donald Trump and other Republican candidates for the US presidency who deny climate change, reports AFP.
The actor and environmentalist, in Tokyo to promote the local release of Alejandro G Iñárritu’s 19th century frontier epic, said the next leader of the world’s most powerful nation should not be someone who refused to listen to reason.
“We should not have a candidate who doesn’t believe in modern science to be leading our country,” he said. “Climate change is one of the most concerning issues facing all humanity and the United States needs to do its part.”
The two leading Republican candidates for the presidency, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, have both dismissed climate change out of hand. Cruz has referred to it as “pseudo-scientific theory”, while Trump said earlier this week that he was “not a big believer in man-made climate change”. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has called climate change denial a “charade”.
DiCaprio, who signed a multi-year partnership deal to make green-themed films with Netflix in March last year, also expressed hope that an upcoming documentary about climate change might raise awareness ahead of the November presidential election. “We’ve been travelling around the world documenting climate change,” he said, confirming that film-makers visited China, India and the North and South Poles.
The actor was greeted by hundreds of fans, some dressed as bears in a reference to The Revenant’s key plot line, as he made his first trip to Tokyo in two years to promote the film. He told reporters it was “gratifying and feels fantastic” to have won the best actor prize for his role as fur trapper Hugh Glass, but added: “You hope to remain with your initial ideals and dreams of what you want to be as an actor, and all I can hope for is that I’ll continue to keep trying to make the best movies I possibly can.”
Later, DiCaprio told an audience at the Japanese premiere for The Revenant at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo that he was “privileged to be a part of cinema history that I think is very ground breaking”, adding: “It was a huge honour for all of us the night of the Oscars, to be awarded the way we were.”
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Thursday 24th March 2016 08.57 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010