Leonardo DiCaprio: A great white shark almost ate me

Leonardo DiCaprio's character ends up in some crazy situations in his new movie, "The Wolf of Wall Street," but DiCaprio himself landed in an even worse predicament.

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    Mary Cybulski / Paramount Pictures

    Image: Leonardo DiCaprio

    Life and times of Leo

    The actor has come a long way from “Growing Pains.” He’s played gangsters, gamblers, kings and con men during his lively Hollywood career.

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    'The Wolf of Wall Street' -

    Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in a scene from "The Wolf of Wall Street." The movie is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Image: The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Hosts An Official Academy Members Screening Of The Wolf Of Wall Street

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    Movie discussion -

    Moderator Brian Rose, director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio attend the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Official Academy Members screening of 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in New York on December 18, 2013.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: BESTPIX - Giorgio Armani Presents: The Wolf Of Wall Street World Premiere

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    World premiere -

    Actors Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio attends "The Wolf Of Wall Street" world premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York on Dec. 17, 2013..

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    'The Great Gatsby' -

    Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan his beloved Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann's 2013 film of F. Scott Fitzgerald's famed novel.

    Warner Bros. Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
  • The Weinstein Company With The Hollywood Reporter, Samsung Galaxy And The Cinema Society Host A Screening Of "Django Unchained"  - Arrivals

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    Red-carpet man -

    DiCaprio attends a screening of "Django Unchained" in New York on Dec. 11, 2012. The actor said that the role, in which he must mistreat slaves, made him uncomfortable, but he knew he had to take it.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    'Django Unchained' -

    In "Django Unchained," DiCaprio plays a cruel plantation owner, Calvin Candie, who stages fights to the death between his slaves.

    The Weinstein Company via AP / The Weinstein Company via AP
  • 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

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    Golden night -

    DiCaprio looked dapper in black tie at the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 15, 2012. He was nominated for best actor for his role in "J. Edgar," but lost to George Clooney, who starred in "The Descendants."

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio poses at the opening night gala for AFI Fest 2011 in Hollywood

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    Man of a thousand faces -

    DiCaprio, here posing at the premiere of "J. Edgar," likes playing enigmatic characters. "When I can't immediately define the character, and there's an element of mystery to it and still a lot to be explored, that's when I say yes," says the actor.

    Reuters / Reuters
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    Deep thoughts -

    DiCaprio is almost unrecognizable as an aging J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood's 2011 film "J. Edgar," which focuses on the career and private life of the former FBI director.

    Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.
  • Image: DiCaprio poses with co-stars Cotillard and Page at the premiere of "Inception" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood

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    He must be dreaming -

    DiCaprio, center, poses with his "Inception" co-stars Marion Cotillard, right, and Ellen Page at the premiere of the film at Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, Calif., on July 13, 2010.

    Reuters / Reuters
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    Mind over matter -

    DiCaprio is shown in a scene from "Inception." The thriller, directed by "Dark Knight" mastermind Christopher Nolan, took the top spot at the box office with a $60.4 million haul the weekend of July 16-18, 2010.

    DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a thief skilled in the art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state. It has made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved.

    AP / AP
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    Isle of mystery -

    Leonardo DiCaprio stars in 2010's "Shutter Island," based on the Dennis Lehane novel. DiCaprio plays a U.S. marshal who's sent to investigate the escape of a murderous patient from an island insane asylum. But are things really what they appear to be?

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Image: Hope For Haiti Now: A Global Benefit For Earthquake Relief - Los Angeles

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    Hello, this is Leo -

    Robert De Niro, DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson were among the Hollywood stars answering donation phone calls at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon on Jan. 22, 2010, in Los Angeles.

    MTV Hope for Haiti Now via Getty Images / MTV Hope for Haiti Now via Getty Images
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    Watching some hoops -

    DiCaprio and his girlfriend, Israeli model Bar Rafaeli, attend a game between the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Jan. 18, 2010, in Los Angeles. DiCaprio is that rare figure among Hollywood actors -- a native Angeleno.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • US actor Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at th

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    On the 'Road' -

    DiCaprio arrives at the European premiere of his 2008 film "Revolutionary Road" at Leicester Square, London, on Jan. 18, 2009. He plays a suburban 1950s husband whose life meets with tragedy when he and his wife cannot realize their dreams.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
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    Before it all broke -

    DiCaprio starred with Kate Winslet in "Revolutionary Road," based on the novel by Richard Yates. Time magazine named the book one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present. The film reunited DiCaprio and Winslet, who were loved by millions in 1997 as ill-fated "Titanic" lovers Jack and Rose.

    Paramount Vantage / Paramount Vantage
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    I spy -

    In 2008, DiCaprio starred as a CIA officer chasing terrorists in Iraq in "Body of Lies."

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    A diamond is forever -

    In 2006's "Blood Diamond," DiCaprio played a smuggler who specializes in the sale of conflict diamonds, the precious stones used to finance rebellions, privateers and terrorists.

    Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.
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    Powerhouse performance -

    Award nominations and recognition flooded in for DiCaprio's performance in 2006's "The Departed," where the young actor held his own against veteran Jack Nicholson.

    Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.
  • US actors Leonardo DiCaprio (C) and Vera

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    Red-carpet rendezvous -

    DiCaprio, "Departed" co-star Vera Farmiga and director Martin Scorsese posed for pictures at the Rome film festival on Oct. 15, 2006.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • 77th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

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    Model behavior -

    Before she wed and had a son with quarterback Tom Brady, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen dated DiCaprio. They attended the Academy Awards together on Feb. 27, 2005, in Los Angeles. DiCaprio was nominated for best actor for his role as Howard Hughes in "The Aviator," but lost out to Jamie Foxx's starring role as Ray Charles in "Ray."

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • TBS And Laurie David Present "Earth To America!" - Show

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    Thanks, Hanks -

    DiCaprio and Tom Hanks appeared during the taping of the "Earth to America!" television special at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Nov. 17, 2005.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • 62nd Annual Golden Globe - Pressroom

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    Spanning the Globe -

    While DiCaprio didn't take home an Oscar for his "Aviator" role, he did collect the Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in a drama on Jan. 16, 2005.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    Flying high -

    To play Hughes in "The Aviator," DiCaprio had to portray the aviation pioneer and business tycoon from his youthful days as a daring pilot until his sad and reclusive final days and death at age 70.

    Miramax Films / Miramax Films
  • WI: Leonardo DiCaprio Stumps For Kerry At The University Of Wisconsin-Madison

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    Rocking the vote -

    Always politically active, DiCaprio made the rounds on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry in 2004. Here he appeared at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, urging students to vote.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    Nice life if you can fake it -

    In 2002's lively "Catch Me If You Can," DiCaprio played real-life con man Frank Abagnale, who posed as a pilot, doctor, lawyer and FBI agent at various times during his life.

    DreamWorks Pictures / DreamWorks Pictures
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    The 'Gang's' all here -

    DiCaprio poses with director Martin Scorsese and his "Gangs of New York" co-star Cameron Diaz at the Cannes Film Festival in France on May 20, 2002.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
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    Street 'Gang' -

    In "Gangs of New York," DiCaprio, seen with co-star Daniel Day-Lewis, plays the son of a murdered gang leader who swears vengeance upon the man who killed his father.

    Miramax Films / Miramax Films
  • Leonardo Di Caprio and Robert De Niro

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    Cop rock -

    DiCaprio and Robert De Niro performed on stage at "The Concert for New York City," held just a month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    Travelers, not tourists -

    In 2000's "The Beach," based on the Alex Garland novel, DiCaprio plays a backpacker who learns of an island paradise where a group of young people live secretly without formal governments and laws. Not surprisingly, it ends badly.

    20th Century Fox / 20th Century Fox
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    Unmasked -

    In 1998's "The Man in the Iron Mark," DiCaprio played King Louis XIV of France as well as the king's identical twin, Philippe. The famed Three Musketeers rescue the masked Philippe and fight to put him on the throne in the place of his evil twin brother.

    United Artists Films / United Artists Films
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    A real looker -

    DiCaprio was just 24 when he graced the cover of People's "50 Most Beautiful People" issue.

    People / People
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    King of the world! -

    In the James Cameron-directed mega-hit "Titanic" in 1997, DiCaprio and Kate Winslet play doomed lovers from different social classes who fall in love aboard the mighty ship's lone voyage. The two actors would later reunite as a doomed married couple in 2008's "Revolutionary Road."

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
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    It is the East, and Juliet is the sun -

    DiCaprio, as Romeo, charms Juliet (Claire Danes) in 1996's "Romeo + Juliet." The film took the famed Shakespeare play and set it in a fictional modern city, giving the warring Montagues and Capulets competing business empires and upgrading their swords to guns with brand names such as "Dagger" and "Rapier."

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
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    Man of the streets -

    In 1995, DiCaprio played author and punk musician Jim Carroll in the film version of Carroll's autobiographical book, "The Basketball Diaries." While the book recounts Carroll's growing-up years in the 1960s, it was adjusted to the 1990s to fit DiCaprio and the era of the film.

    New Line Cinema / New Line Cinema
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    'Grape' expectations -

    DiCaprio first came to the attention of many critics and fans when he starred in 1993's "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," adapted by Peter Hedges from Hedges' 1991 novel. DiCaprio played mentally handicapped Arnie, who lives with his obese mother, two sisters and frustrated caretaker brother, Gilbert (Johnny Depp).

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
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    Be prepared -

    DiCaprio played writer Tobias Wolff, with Robert De Niro playing Wolff's stepfather, in 1993's "This Boy's Life." DiCaprio and De Niro would reunite just three years later in 1996's "Marvin's Room."

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • KIRK CAMERON, JEREMY MILLER, LEONARDO DICAPRIO

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    One to 'Grow' on -

    DiCaprio's career really began on television, with his role as Luke in the sitcom "Growing Pains," which he joined in 1991. His character was a homeless boy taken in by the lead family, the Seavers. Here Mike (Kirk Cameron) and Ben (Jeremy Miller) console DiCaprio's character as he prepares for his first day of high school.

    ABC / ABC

DiCaprio told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show Tuesday that he once was trapped in a shark cage when a great white shark tried to chomp its way inside.

The actor's Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation seeks to protect endangered wildlife habitats, including five species of threatened sharks. While filming the 2006 film "Blood Diamond," DiCaprio was inside a shark cage when feeding time went wrong.

"They actually said (that) in 30 years, this has never happened," DiCaprio said. "But the tuna kind of got stuck on the top of the cage, and the great white kind of leapt out and tried to bite it, and it went into the cage with me and half its body was in and out, and I flattened down at the bottom and it chomped a few times."

DiCaprio praised the work of the foundation, but told DeGeneres, "it was absolutely terrifying."

He also related a secret from "Wolf of Wall Street." In a scene where Jonah Hill's character nearly chokes to death on a piece of ham and DiCaprio's character performs CPR, the filmmakers had trouble getting Hill's spat-up ham to stick to DiCaprio's face.

"We had to do 70 takes because they couldn't get this ham to stick on my face," DiCaprio said. "And they had to (use) K-Y Jelly, and there was literally a guy there with this plastic spoon just flicking ham on my face all day long."

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