The Aviator (2004)
Leo's second Scorsese effort, The Aviator was a glorious, sprawling biopic of OCD filmmaker and aviator Howard Hughes.
While researching the role, the actor spent a day with veteran star and Hughes cohort Jane Russell, who confessed to being mightily impressed by the actor. DiCaprio later admitted that playing Hughes temporarily triggered the obsessive-compulsive disorder he’d suffered as a child.
An epic drama packed with sterling acting talent, Leo’s nuanced, charismatic turn in the lead earned him his first BAFTA and Best Actor Oscar nominations, although on both occasions he was beaten to the award by Ray’s Jamie Foxx. He did, however, manage to bag his first Golden Globe for the role - a decent consolation prize by anyone’s standards.