Leonardo DiCaprio is basic, he has no swag, and he’s the coolest person alive.
He goes through life with a level of insouciance rivaled only by that of, maybe, Chief Keef. Yes, Leo owns an island, and he spends what appears to be most of his time on yachts surrounded by models half his age, but anyone with over $200 million in the bank can do that. It’s how little of a fuck he gives about seemingly everything else that makes him an icon.
Leo was normcore before people started writing trend pieces about it. He cruises around NYC on a Citibike. He scarfs down greasy food while sitting courtside. He smoke e-cigs. Even when he tries to be on his eccentric rock star shit and wear a mask while walking around Italy, he can’t help but bro down and gorge on some pizza at the same damn time.
Like Obama has proven with his dad jeans, anti-fashion is power. I wore basketball shorts to the club a few weekends ago and I can attest that it’s liberating to not care about how you look. Sometimes that haphazard outfit you throw together for a bodega run on Saturday morning is the strongest look you’ll wear all week, but no one does "not caring" like Leo.
What is there to care about when you got your first Oscar nomination at 19? Four nominations later, we feel sorry for Leo because he still hasn’t won an Academy Award, but he remains unbothered. The now-legendary video of him dancing at this year’s Coachella festival, one month after the Oscars, in one of the most casual outfits of all-time, is irrefutable proof.
Leo moonlights as an environmentalist, and I don’t doubt that he’s passionate about saving the Earth, but he does a great job of trolling world leaders in the process. One night, he’s rapping “Scenario” on stage with Jamie Foxx. Days later, he’s sporting a man-bun with a beard behind the podium at the UN Climate Summit telling delegates, “I pretend for a living, but you do not.” I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled off in his Prius blasting “Hot Nigga.”
Never mind that he ran with a crew called the “Pussy Posse” during the Titanic days. Forget about how he spent more than your yearly salary on fixing a trashed hotel room at Cannes. Ignore the fact that he’s been Romeo, Gatsby, Jordan Belfort, and Howard Hughes. None of that is why Leonardo DiCaprio is the god.
When you try hard, that’s when you die hard. He told GQ, “I’m not the kind of person who tries to be cool or trendy.” That’s why he’s so fucking cool.
Ernest Baker is a writer living in New York. Follow him on Twitter here.