Leonardo Dicaprio’s Biggest Movie Regret? Not Playing Dirk Diggler in “Boogie Nights”

Sometimes the parts that actors don’t take are the ones they regret later on. In some cases though it sounds like a lot of empty sentiment, even if it’s something that they might have really enjoyed at the time. For all his fame and fortune and notoriety Leonardo DiCaprio, one of the many stars that people absolutely love and adore and wait with baited anticipation to see once again on the big screen, does have that one regret. Despite all he’s done to this point and the reputation he’s gained for doing some of the biggest and even most oddball roles he’s still found one thing that he wished he would have done in his past that now makes him look back with a wistful smile. Strange enough however it’s a film that a lot of people wouldn’t even know today if not for articles like this.

When he was a good deal younger, 20 years younger obviously, he was offered the role of Dirk Diggler in the film Boogie Nights. At the time however he was already lined up to play Jack Dawson on Titanic, a movie that catapulted him to the kind of fame that he hadn’t yet achieved in his career. He’d been a heartthrob for a while already but Titanic launched him to new heights that he might not have known existed. From that point on he was a megastar and didn’t need smaller roles to keep his career afloat, though occasionally he would take on roles that didn’t seem quite right or weren’t able to keep the movies he starred in from being relegated to little more than another entry on his resume.

He didn’t know enough about the director is how he puts it and therefore didn’t feel like taking on a project that was fairly unknown. Instead he recommended his buddy Mark Wahlberg, whom he’d starred in The Basketball Diaries with not that long before. Wahlberg took the part and the rest, as they say, is history. But now, looking back on it and seeing what Boogie Nights became, Leo tends to think that maybe he should’ve taken the part. The film likely wouldn’t have elevated DiCaprio’s career all that much if at all, since it didn’t do a lot of good for Wahlberg either. In fact Mark’s costars tended to come out of the film better than he did, since the only award he got mentioned for was the award for the best cast.

Wahlberg’s fame had to keep a steady, upward movement before it finally took off, but DiCaprio’s absolutely soared once he starred in Titanic, and no amount of criticism since has been able to stifle his ascension to the A-list and beyond. Regardless of his regrets concerning Boogie Nights it’s easy to see that things turned out pretty well for him and have continued their forward roll well into the current day.

It’s easy to look back and wonder what might have happened if you’d done one thing instead of another, but it’s important to remember that the decisions you make are what brings you to the here and now.


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