An avid environmentalist, particularly concerned with global warming, DiCaprio chairs Earth Day 2000. He goes on to win a number of awards for environmental leadership and is often seen tooling around Hollywood in his hybrid Toyota Prius.
DiCaprio frolics on the shores of Malibu with supermodel-of-the moment Gisele Bündchen. The two remain coy about their relationship, and eventually endure a rocky, five-plus-year, on-again, off-again relationship. The pair calls it quits (for good) in November 2005.
In a triumphant screen return, a grown-up DiCaprio stars in director Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York with Cameron Diaz and Catch Me If You Can with Tom Hanks and an up-and-coming Amy Adams. "I've been extremely careful about the work that I get involved in nowadays," he tells PEOPLE.
DiCaprio reunites with Scorsese in The Aviator, playing the handsome, wealthy, brilliant and mentally ill Howard Hughes. "He was one of the most iconic men the country has ever seen," DiCaprio tells PEOPLE. His work, in which he stars alongside Cate Blanchett and Kate Beckinsale, earns him an Oscar nod for Best Actor.
The Departed stars DiCaprio in the hard-hitting role of an undercover cop. "I've gotten to this great place where I'm able to steer the course of my career," he tells PEOPLE. "This is my opportunity to try to emulate the heroes that I had as a young actor – Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, people like that. That's why I'm in hardcore work mode now." The work pays off when he's nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Although DiCaprio loses the Best Actor Oscar, he makes history at the ceremony when he announces the show has gone "green." That night, former Vice President Al Gore's global warming film An Inconvenient Truth wins Best Documentary. In May, his eco commitment lands him on Time's 100 Most Influential list. Director Martin Scorsese says, "The 'kid' has grown up to be a man I'm proud to know and whom I feel lucky to count as a collaborator."
DiCaprio reunites with Titanic costar Kate Winslet for the film adaptation of Richard Yates' novel, Revolutionary Road. In the film, set in the 1950s about a young couple desperate to escape their suburban lives, DiCaprio and Winslet shine. "We have a level of understanding which I really don't have with another actor that I've ever worked with at all," Winslet tells EW of DiCaprio.
DiCaprio reteams with Scorsese for the fourth time in Shutter Island, which tops the box office two weeks in a row. "It was a very intense filmmaking experience," DiCaprio says, "and it was one of the more challenging roles I've ever taken on to date." In July, the actor is back on top with Christopher Nolan's dreamy thriller, Inception, which reigns over the competition for three weeks and scores an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
Fresh off his split from Bar Refaeli, DiCaprio is spotted hugging actress Blake Lively on a yacht during the Cannes Film Festival in France. The pair continue their European jaunt in Italy the following week, where paparazzi capture the smitten stars holding hands. In October, DiCaprio's summer romance with Lively comes to an end.
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