U.S. actor Leonardo DiCaprio reacts at a press conference to promote his new film "Django Unchained" in Seoul, South Korea, March 7, 2013. (Xinhua/Park Jin-hee)
SEOUL, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays his first villain in the latest feature "Django Unchained", said Thursday reports of the Hollywood icon leaving the film industry is a misinterpretation of his desire to take a break to pursue another passion of his environmental activism.
"I have not planned on quitting acting,"DiCaprio, who is visiting Seoul to promote the film, told reporters. His recent comment about wanting to take a "long break" after working tirelessly on"Django Unchained," the upcoming "The Great Gatsby" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" was misinterpreted by a reporter who interviewed him, the actor explained.
Still, the "Titanic" actor, whose animal rights campaign recently led Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to vow to end illicit ivory trade in her country, said he does plan to engage in "a lot of environmental work" and fundraising efforts in the near future.
DiCaprio described "Django Unchained"which awarded director Quentin Tarantino an Oscar for the best original screenplay as a mixture of spaghetti western and fairy tales that unflatteringly portrays America's history of slavery through a story of a freed slave. "This was a very difficult character for me to take on initially, "DiCaprio said of his role as Calvin Candie, a brutal plantation owner. It was with the help of co-stars Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx that he was able to"push the boundaries" and "tell the truth about history,"the actor added.
Calling Tarantino "one of the most unique filmmakers"always" pushing the envelope"in the film industry, DiCaprio said he appreciates the "Pulp Fiction" director's "retelling of the past" and the way he brought tensions to the scenes.
But it remains to be seen whether Tarantino will be the new Martin Scorsese for DiCaprio, the actor said, referring to the " The Departed" director who has often teamed up with him.
Describing the two directors as "groundbreaking filmmakers in their own right," DiCaprio said they are like two sides of the same coin that epitomizes the history of American cinema.
DiCaprio, who likened his ability to pick the roles he wants to play to "winning a lottery,"said he will steer clear of " prepackaged films" that feel "repetitive" to him and continue taking on unique projects.
"My philosophy has always been the same: 'pain is temporary, but film is forever'," he said.