Leonardo DiCaprio is hoping to help bring a fresh take to a classic story, when he stars in the latest big screen version of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel “The Great Gatsby,” slated to hit theaters Christmas 2012.
And besides a slew of sexy modern faces – Leo will share the screen with the likes of Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher in the film – the producers are also bringing another modern-day twist to the reboot: 3-D technology.
“We’re shooting ‘The Great Gatsby’ in Australia right now and what’s really cool is working with [director] Baz [Luhrmann] and this 3-D format that’s being used for drama,” Leo told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, while promoting his latest movie, “J. Edgar,” in Los Angeles over the weekend.
“Most of the time, you associate 3-D with the spectacle of it, but he really wants to use 3-D to create emotional impact with the characters and almost use it like what it would be like to immerse yourself in a theater production,” Leo explained. “So I’m having a good time with that. Plus, it’s the great American novel.
“I’m having a great time with the material for sure,” he added.
When it comes to his current project, “J. Edgar,” Leo said there was plenty that drew him to portraying such a historic, yet controversial, figure — J. Edgar Hoover.
“What interested you in Hoover?” Billy asked Leo.
“He was always a very mysterious figure in American history. His personal life was always shrouded in mystery — I never could quite put my finger on it,” the star said. “He was this bulldog figure, he was sort of the face of the FBI, he changed our country in a time of great lawlessness where bank robbers were going from state to state robbing banks, becoming local heroes. He sort of cleaned up all that mess… he was creating this new federal police force single-handedly.
“But then, there are all those salacious rumors that you heard about him too. So, it was very exciting to see somebody’s very specific take on who J. Edgar Hoover was through these different time periods from the beginning of his career and how he was this very ambitious young man that created this police force all the way to the end of his life where he, you know, became a political dinosaur and didn’t adapt to the changing of our country,” Leo concluded.
Despite the ranging opinions on Hoover’s legacy, Leo said he didn’t see any risk in taking on the role.
“If there is a risk, I think that that may be something that other people might attribute to this character. But to me, it was a no-brainer. It’s like, how often do you get to portray somebody with this much complexity and intrigue?” Leo suggested. “I mean, this guy had a crock pot of different eccentricities and that’s like an actor’s dream.
“So I just looked at it as that perspective — like how could I not play this character?” he said.