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Leonardo DiCaprio Came Up With Don’t Look Up’s Gut-Punching Last Line, But It Almost Didn’t Make The Movie

Warning: SPOILERS for Don't Look Up are ahead!

The end of 2021 brought us some serious bangers when it comes to movies, both in theaters and in the streaming world. Spider-Man: No Way Home may have crushed it at the box office, but the all-star cast of writer/director Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up did some serious numbers on Netflix. Don’t Look Up had some comedic gold throughout the film, but was home to some insightful moments as well. It turns out the gut-punching last line of the film was apparently almost cut, and thankfully star Leonardo DiCaprio both came up with the line and pushed to keep it in the film.

In an interview with Insider, Adam McKay was asked about collaborating on the script with so many big names, and it sounds like Leonardo DiCaprio had some influence on the script and opinions on the creative direction of the film, specifically the ending of Don’t Look Up. McKay said that it’s because of DiCaprio’s involvement that the last, bring-it-home line of the film was even shot. Here it is in his own words:

I'll give him a giant hunk of credit: Believe it or not, that line at the end of the movie where he says, ‘We really did have it all,’ that wasn't in the script. He came with that the day we were filming.

It’s pretty safe to say that Leonardo DiCaprio has exuberant experience in film, and he’s delivered some pretty hard-hitting lines in his 30+ years in front of the camera. Not only is he a big name in Hollywood, but he takes his job very seriously and has taken some creative freedom with well-known directors before. This heavy involvement in the portrayal and development of his characters may be one of the keys to how amazing of a performance he consistently gives, and how he has become such a stand-out actor. 

In fact, apparently coming up with the idea for his final Don’t Look Up line was just the beginning of how far he would take his creative direction. In the same interview, Adam McKay revealed that Leonardo DiCaprio was pretty insistent that the line didn’t get cut from the film, which it almost was. Here’s how McKay explained it:

And Leo was there and said, ‘Don't you have to try that line? It really felt powerful when we did it.’ I was afraid to use it and we put it just before a test screening and it just landed. So I thanked Leo for pushing me on that. That's really the line of the movie.

While Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t have a writer’s credit for Don’t Look Up, it seems like he certainly put some work in that went past his role as actor. His skill on knowing which lines will work and where they need to go makes me wonder just how much creativity he has had in some of his previous projects, even though he is mainly credited as either an actor or producer on projects. 

You can check out Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in Don’t Look Up, which co-stars Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill and Meryl Streep (among others), streaming on Netflix. DiCaprio's next film appearance will be in Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon, set to release sometime this year.