Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has told the ABC’s 7.30 program a “ground-breaking” bear attack scene in his latest film The Revenant involved the director watching 100 different attacks.
But the actor stopped short of discussing the sequence in detail, despite some online outlets claiming it depicts DiCaprio’s character Hugh Glass being raped by the bear.
Fox Studios was this month forced to deny The Drudge Report‘s story that claimed the film features “a shocking scene of a wild bear raping Leo DiCaprio”.
The studio told US entertainment bulletin Entertainment Weekly the bear in the film is female, and attacks DiCaprio’s character “because she feels he might be threatening her cubs”.
DiCaprio was coy with the details, but praised director Alejandro Inarritu’s approach to directing the scene.
“I’m not at real liberty to speak to you about exactly how [the director] pulled this off,” DiCaprio told 7.30.
“So much of the director’s technique is something that he wants to keep to himself because he loves the idea of audiences submerging themselves in something that is almost like virtual reality.
“But I will say that it involved months of rehearsal and it involved him watching 100 different bear attacks.”
DiCaprio says scene is ‘very raw, violent, savage’
“What he achieves cinematically is something that I think is very ground-breaking, and that is the ability for an audience to be in a sort of very raw, violent, savage bear attack, yet feel the intimacy of both man and beast.”
DiCaprio said the sequence was a visceral one for the viewing audience.
“You feel the sweat, and the heat coming off the animal,” he said.
“It’s almost like he awakens other senses within you as an audience member, and you feel like you’re some voyeuristic animal watching something that you shouldn’t be watching.
“But most of that is achieved in a lot of the silent moments that he creates in that sequence.”
DiCaprio said he was glad it had started a conversation about the film, which tells the story of a legendary 1800s frontiersman who must utilise his survival skills after the bear attack.
“People are talking about it because it’s something incredibly ground-breaking,” DiCaprio said.
“People have responded to it because it’s unlike anything that they’ve ever seen in cinema ever, really.”