By Marie Claire
Leonardo DiCaprio and The Pope discussed environmental issues at The Vatican...
Leonardo DiCaprio and the Pope are two people that you’d usually be hard-pushed to find in a room together, but on Thursday the two met to discuss environmental and charitable issues (in a mixture of broken Italian and English) and it was as touching as it was awkward.
The Hollywood actor and Pope Francis met at The Vatican, and Leonardo greeted his Holiness by kissing his ring and firing off a few lines of Italian (very quickly, might we add), which basically translated as ‘cheers for granting me this private audience with you’ according to Rome Reports.
But as the two were surrounded by snapping cameras and we’ve got the whole thing on video, the encounter wasn’t actually all that private.
Leonardo DiCaprio first posed for a few snaps next to the Pope and then, in English, he explained why a book by 15th-century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch ‘which used to hang above his crib’, reflected their shared environmental concerns. The famous tome has a section which depicts Adam and Eve in the first panel, a natural landscape in the middle and and a vision of hell in the final area.
‘As a child I didn’t quite understand what it all meant, but through my child’s eyes it represented a planet, the utopia we had been given, the overpopulation, excesses, and the third panel we see a blackened sky that represents so much to me of what’s going in in the environment,’ DiCaprio said, as a translator first offered up an Italian version of Leo’s speech, before presumably losing track of the actor’s explanation and trailing off a bit.
Watch the video below:
Leo, a known environmentalist, gifted the book to Pope Francis, along with a cheque for an undisclosed sum according to Today.com. And the actor didn’t walk away empty-handed either – Francis gave him copies of his works Laudato si and The Joy of the Gospel. Wonder if Leo’s Italian reading level is as good as his speaking, though?
DiCaprio was raised as a Catholic in California but has said that he now identifies as agnostic. He’s currently promoting his latest film The Revevnant, and is hotly tipped for Oscar success, having famously missed out on an Academy Award so far in his career.
And what better way to drum up a bit of PR than to meet with the head of the world’s biggest religion? We reckon a little divine intervention for Leo this awards season can’t hurt.