‘Don’t Look Up’: Leonardo DiCaprio Convinced Director Adam McKay to Use This Devastating Last Line

Over the past several years, Netflix has been releasing hit after hit, surprising viewers with original content that is thought-provoking and entertaining. One of these recent films is Don’t Look Up, which dropped on the streaming platform on December 24, 2021.

With an impressive cast of Hollywood heavyweights and a riveting plot, viewers are singing the praises of Don’t Look Up, and director Adam McKay. It isn’t just McKay that helped to craft a memorable film experience, however. Star Leonardo DiCaprio lent a hand on several occasions and was even responsible for that truly devastating final line of dialogue in Don’t Look Up

‘Don’t Look Up’ features an all-star cast

Don’t Look Up tells the story of two astronomers, played by DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, who try desperately to warn all of humanity about an approaching comet that has the potential to wipe out civilization. At every turn, the astronomers, Randall and Kate, are thwarted by those who have their own agendas about the approaching comet. While some people take the threat seriously, others argue about the political and social ramifications—and still others are more concerned about their social media accounts.

With clever commentary about the climate change crisis, Don’t Look Up has managed to make waves with audiences. The story isn’t the only notable thing about the film, however. In addition to DiCaprio and Lawrence, the movie stars Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Ron Perlman, and Ariana Grande, among many other major stars. Don’t Look Up is easily the most star-studded Netflix film in recent years. 

Leonardo DiCaprio was responsible for the last line in ‘Don’t Look Up’

'Don't Look Up' stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Dr. Randall Mindy and Jennifer Lawrence as Kate Dibiasky looking at a cell phone
L-R: Leonardo DiCaprio as Dr. Randall Mindy and Jennifer Lawrence as Kate Dibiasky | Niko Tavernise/Netflix

Main cast member DiCaprio connected deeply with the plot of Don’t Look Up, as a well-known environmental activist himself. He even dedicated his time to working on the script with director McKay. In a recent interview, McKay opened up about how DiCaprio helped him to shape the final moments in the film by convincing him to stick with the devastating final line of dialogue.

As reported by Screen Rant, McKay said “Believe it or not, that line at the end of the movie where he says, “We really did have [everything, didn’t we?]” that wasn’t in the script. He came with that the day we were filming… In the edit, it was Leo who pushed us to put the line in.” McKay went on to note that “The line was so devastating. We were trying to get the balance of that ending just right… And Leo was there and said, “Don’t you have to try that line? It really felt powerful when we did it.” McKay gave props to DiCaprio as being not only the one who came up with the line but the one who actively pushed for the line’s inclusion in the finished film. 

How else did Leonardo DiCaprio help with the making of ‘Don’t Look Up’?

At another point, director McKay talked about DiCaprio’s involvement with the overall script, including the scene where Randall goes off about how angry he is regarding the world’s reaction to the news of the comet. McKay noted in his interview that he wasn’t sure about including the scene, even though DiCaprio was passionate about the speech’s inclusion. “I was like, ‘Speeches are tricky, man. It’s like drum solos,'” McKay said. “‘They were awesome in the ’70s but…'” McKay said.

DiCaprio worked with McKay and other members of the production team, ultimately rewriting the speech 15 times. “I think it’s the biggest laugh in the movie when I test screened it,” McKay said. Viewers who want to see the moment for themselves can catch Don’t Look Up, which is currently streaming on Netflix.

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