Leonardo DiCaprio Spent Five Months Toying with ‘Don’t Look Up’ Script Before Agreeing to Star

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Zack Sharf
·2 min read
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Leonardo DiCaprio has displayed expert comedy chops in films such as “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which is why his casting in Adam McKay’s star-studded Netflix comedy “Don’t Look Up” has so many fans excited. DiCaprio is getting the rare chance to lead a comedy opposite Jennifer Lawrence, and McKay tells MTV’s “Happy Sad Confused” podcast that the tone of “Don’t Look Up” falls somewhere in between “The Big Short” and “The Other Guys.” The film stars Lawrence and DiCaprio as two astronomers touring the country to warn the population of a comet that will destroy the planet.

“I’ve known Jen for awhile,” McKay said when asked how he landed two of the biggest A-listers in Hollywood in the same film. “One of the first meetings she ever did in Los Angeles after her first movie was with me when she was like 17 years old, maybe 18 years old. She worshipped ‘Step Brothers,’ so when her agent asked who she wanted to meet…they prob weren’t happy to hear the answer: the guy who did ‘Step Brothers.'”

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McKay wrote the character of astronomer Kate Dibiasky for Lawrence, and the “Silver Linings Playbook” Oscar winner got the first read of the script. Landing DiCaprio was a different story.

“I think he’s amazing and I love his work, but I just thought there’s no way he’s going to do this because if I could only work with Martin Scorsese, I would only work with Martin Scorsese,” McKay quipped. “I would be Martin Scorsese’s assistant on set. So why would he do this with me? But as it turns out he really loved the script. We went back and forth on it. It was about a four-to-five month process with us just kicking around ideas. We took a break for the quarantine, and lo and behold once we figured out a theoretically safe way to shoot this movie, he was in. I couldn’t believe it. It’s no surprise he’s fabulous in the movie.”

McKay continued, “He’s really funny. Really grounded. It’s a great mix and it was perfect with Jen Lawrence, who is the same way. She’s crazy funny but grounded. When you had those two as our main people, the style of the movie was set.”

Netflix has not announced a release date for “Don’t Look Up,” but McKay said it will most likely open in November or December. Head over to the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast website to listen to McKay’s interview in its entirety.

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