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Leonardo DiCaprio’s real blood is in ‘Django Unchained’ scene

Meriah Doty
Yahoo! Movies Golden Globes Blog
December 26, 2012
Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Django Unchained'
Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Django Unchained'

Leonardo DiCaprio cut his hand while the cameras were rolling on the set of "Django Unchained" and kept moving through the scene, never breaking character. His real-life bloodied hand made it into the final version of the film, The Weinstein Company has confirmed with Yahoo! Movies.

It is this type of dedication that helped earn the 38-year-old actor a Golden Globe nomination and Oscar buzz for playing an evil slave plantation owner.

SPOILER ALERT: DiCaprio's hand injury happened during one of the movie's most climactic scenes -- as Calvin Candie (DiCaprio) confronts Django (Jamie Foxx) and Dr. Shultz (Christoph Waltz). Candie has learned the pair have been pulling an elaborate scam on him in order to retrieve Django's wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), a slave on his vast Mississippi plantation.

[Related: Exclusive ‘Django Unchained’ trailer, plus Kerry Washington talks tough days on set]

The ruthless and powerful Candie, who has a disturbing thirst for bloodsport, is angered to the core when he realizes welcomed guests of his estate have plotted against him. As the scene plays out, Candie slams his hand on a dining room table. It was during one take of that scene when DiCaprio unintentionally slammed his hand into glass, creating a gash that later required medical care.

But that didn't stop him from doing his job. As his hand bled quite visibly, DiCaprio kept going, even using the hand as a new dramatic prop. At one point he smears his bloodied hand over Broomhilda's face in an act of evil dominance. And Broomhilda (Washington) looks horrified as he does it. (Perhaps Washington wasn't acting!) And that was the take that director Quentin Tarantino kept in the film.

"Leo had slammed his hand on the table countless times and he moved his hand further and he crushed a crystal cordial glass," "Django" producer Stacey Sher also recently told Variety. "Blood was dripping down his hand. He never broke character. He kept going. He was in such a zone. It was very intense. He required stitches."

[Related: Jamie Foxx tells Yahoo! Movies of a confrontation with racism during his youth]

DiCaprio and Tarantino were creative collaborators on the film to the extent that Tarantino used research provided by the "Titanic" actor. DiCaprio found a book on phrenology, a racist pseudo-science of the era, according to Variety, and it inspired pieces of Tarantino's script. "Their collaboration raised the stakes and made for an exciting atmosphere on set," Sher said.

Very short flashes of the scene wherein DiCaprio bloodies his hand can be spotted with a careful eye in many of the "Django" trailers that have been released -- but his actual bloody hand isn't made visible in them. You'll just have to watch the film to see it for yourself.

"Django Unchained" is in theaters now.

[Get Showtimes and Tickets for 'Django Unchained']

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