Leonardo DiCaprio Once Revealed the Surprising Worst Part of Filming ‘The Revenant’: ‘It’s Hard’

Leonardo DiCaprio has become a major Hollywood actor since he landed his first notable role back in the 1990s. The “Titanic” star has gone on to be in a number of high-profile films, including “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013) and “The Revenant” (2016), the latter of which won him his first Oscar.

But filming “The Revenant” was no easy feat — and DiCaprio once revealed what was, surprisingly, so awful about it.

Leonardo DiCaprio at the Screen Actors' Guild Awards in 2016
Leonardo DiCaprio at the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards in 2016 | Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Turner

Leonardo DiCaprio once had to eat raw liver in ‘The Revenant’

“The Revenant” tells the story of Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), a man who is forced to find his way back to civilization after his hunting partner leaves him for dead. The film sees the main character endure plenty of difficulties, from being attacked by a bear to needing to find food and shelter so he doesn’t starve or freeze to death.

DiCaprio had to get into character, and he’ll never forget the scene during which he had to eat raw liver. Though the crew had provided a fake liver, DiCaprio was certain it wouldn’t convince viewers, and he knew what he had to do.

“I did [eat raw liver],” DiCaprio said in an interview with Timeout.  “Because the fake liver they gave me didn’t look real … I was sitting there eating a big piece of Play-Doh. I had to give it a shot. But I only did it twice, and my reaction is up on screen. That’s instinct.”

Leonardo DiCaprio accepts his Oscar for 'The Revenant' in 2016
Leonardo DiCaprio accepts his Oscar for ‘The Revenant’ in 2016 | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

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Leonardo DiCaprio said his beard — and makeup – made the film so difficult

Though the raw liver wasn’t great, there was something else that caused major difficulty —  DiCaprio’s beard. It took him six months to grow it for the movie, and he revealed to Ellen DeGeneres that not only was it incredibly hard to manage, it also added to his makeup time on set each day. When DeGeneres asked him about his frozen beard, DiCaprio revealed that it “was actually wax,” not ice, that covered it.

“It was about a four- to five-hour makeup job every day,” DiCaprio said, adding that the scars and injuries took plenty of time as well. “It was just a joy, the whole experience,” he said sarcastically, to which the audience responded in laughter. “I don’t think I’ll ever have a beard like that again … It’s hard to maintain.” He went on to explain that he was constantly having food get stuck, and that he had to shampoo and condition the beard to keep it clean. “Otherwise it gets like a Brillo pad,” he said. 

‘The Revenant’ won DiCaprio his first Oscar

Despite that it wasn’t quite a “joy” to film, all the effort was certainly worth it. DiCaprio, who had been gunning for an Oscar as far back as his 1997 “Titanic” days, was finally recognized by the Academy for his acting.

At the 2016 Academy Awards, DiCaprio finally walked away with the award for Best Actor. He’s been nominated a total of five times, and it became somewhat of a running joke that he never won. “The Revenant” also netted DiCaprio a BAFTA award as well as a Golden Globe.