Although political films don’t always tend to go over well at the box office, Leonardo DiCaprio says that played no part in his decision to take on his newest role.
"It’s really never anything that I thought about," he said Sunday night at the premiere of Body of Lies in NYC, which benefited the Natural Resources Defense Council. "When you have the opportunity to do a film that’s pertinent to the world and have something to say about that, combined with Ridley Scott, you just do it. Worry about what comes later."
In Body of Lies, Leo plays a CIA operative involved in investigating a potential terrorist operative in the Middle East, sent to Jordan by a manipulative boss, played by Russell Crowe. Like Blood Diamond, the film is sure to get people talking, especially during election season, something that Leonardo says he doesn’t purposely aim for.
"I’ve never sought out those types of movies specifically," he says. "Certainly Blood Diamond had a great political undertone and was very topical and pertinent to issues that people are discussing worldwide. It happened to be incorporated from that scenario. That happens with both of the films. I never sort of thought that out."
And while Leo is definitely an advocate of many high-profile causes – the Body of Lies premiere benefited the National Resources Defense Council, an organization the actor says has implemented important environmental policies – he says his goal is not to push his views on anyone.
"The thing we most tried to do in the creation of the film is not bring any of our politics into play," he says. "You give an audience a realistic, stark view, negative and positive, of the United States and foreign relations worldwide. The film at its core deals with CIA and espionage. It has a duality to it."
However politics come into play, Leo says the film is open to interpretation, and fans can decide for themselves how they feel about it.
"It’s villifying both ends of the spectrum. I don’t think we’re making the United States or the Middle East heroic," he says. "It’s war. It’s warfare. At the end of the day, it’s their decision."