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Yesterday, the Twitterverse erupted in an epic battle of Titanic proportions, specifically the 1997 Oscar-winning film version. After director Céline Sciamma noted in an interview that Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were "not known" prior to Titanic, Slate posted a Slack conversation betwixt its writers debating that notion.
I don't know why there was any debate at all. Yes, he was a star prior to Titanic. Titanic merely made him a SUPERSTAR. We who arrived at our sexual awakening thanks to Romeo + Juliet know the truth.
But, of course, the man had a long, storied career even before that. His first Academy Awards nomination came in 1994 for What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and even before that he'd worked with the likes of Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Robert DeNiro, and Kirk Cameron, you know, those wholly equal cinematic powerhouses.
But before all that came his feature film debut in a little film titled Critters 3.
Critters was a Gremlins knock-off that produced five films and a Shudder web series. Nevertheless, Critters persisted. The third installment follows...the critters I guess, I don't know, Wikipedia isn't giving me a ton to go off here, and one of the plucky youths attempting to stop said critters is tiny baby Leonardo DiCaprio, then just 16 years old. An older, wiser, 18-year-old DiCaprio would go on to describe his role as "your average, no-depth, standard kid with blond hair."
In attempting to find clips of his performance, I found this video set to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and if I have to see it, you have to as well.
But if you want to enjoy his layered, nuanced performance as a boy who murders his step-father with critters, here you are.
Screw you, Shutter Island, Leo's been a horror icon FOR DECADES.