Introducing Leonardo DiCaprio's Deeply Alarming Neckbeard
We don't know a lot about Leonardo DiCaprio's next film, Don't Look Up. We know it's a satire about Leo and Jennifer Lawrence as two doom-mongering astronomers, that the first clip from it turned up on Netflix's big round-up of all its 2021 films yesterday, that Adam McKay will direct, and that everyone's in it: DiCaprio and Lawrence are joined by Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Chris Evans, Cate Blanchett, Ron Perlman, Jonah Hill, and Ariana Grande.
The 11-second teaser does hide one big Easter egg in plain sight though: DiCaprio's sizeable neckbeard.
Longtime Leo-watchers will be aware that his facial hair on film exists on a continuum. At one end, there's the neat, sandy goatee (Inception, Gangs of New York, Shutter Island, Blood Diamond) which usually suggests his character's going to be dealing with some slightly nefarious underworld stuff. The beard says "I'm a bit of a naughty one," but the careful sculpting says, "I'll try not to let my naughtiness get out of hand".
At the opposite end of the scale is the wild and phlegmy Big Acting Beard which got him an Oscar for The Revenant. Leo's campily evil (Django Unchained) and accidentally David Brent (Body of Lies) efforts lie somewhere in between.
This is new ground, though. Who's the man inside the head atop the neck behind the beard? Does he spend an hour a day tagging the Didn't Happen Of The Year Awards in Twitter threads? We know his Funko Pop collection is large, but exactly how large? When will his YouTube channel of video essays about the cinematography of Breaking Bad pass 50 subscribers? Looking at the DiCaprio beard continuum, the scruffiness points to an angsty turn with subtle notes of savior complex.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.