Six-time Academy Award nominee Leonardo DiCaprio has been an advocate for discussing climate change and what we can do about it for many years. In Netflix’s most recent film, Don’t Look Up, he plays an increasingly frustrated scientist who realizes that, even though he’s discovered that an oversized comet is heading towards Earth, the general public and the authorities won’t do anything about it. In a new edition of Netflix Film Club, the actor breaks down his character and what he represents in his latest movie.
DiCaprio starts out by explaining that Don’t Look Up, in a nutshell, is “an analogy of modern-day culture and our inability to hear and listen to scientific truth.” If this hits home, it’s probably because the COVID-19 pandemic made it clear how humanity deals with impending danger and how world leaders react to it. However, the Netflix comedy is about a far more pressing issue that can’t be mitigated with vaccines, and scientists have been screaming about for decades — and, much like in Don’t Look Up, it represents humanity’s extinction if serious measures aren’t taken.
The actor goes on to remind us that a lot of people don’t want to hear about climate change, even though evidence of its effects can be seen every year with increasing ferocity. DiCaprio also commended director Adam McKay for taking on the task of making a film about it and giving it a dark comedy tone, which shines a light on the issue through satire.
In the film, DiCaprio’s character is not the only one pleading for humanity’s survival. He is joined by Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), a Michigan student who discovered the comet, and Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), the head of the United States’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office. The trio’s claims, however, are met with skepticism by mass media, the President’s office and the general public, as no one wants to hear grim news and prefer to believe everything will turn out well.
Don’t Look Up’s star-studded cast also features Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Mark Rylance, Ariana Grande, Michael Chiklis, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman, Himesh Patel, Paul Guilfoyle, and Melanie Lynskey. Audiences can stream the film exclusively on Netflix now.
Check out the new Netflix Film Club featurette below: