Is Leonardo DiCaprio the New De Niro?

Is Leonardo DiCaprio the New De Niro?

Who ever thought that little Leonardo DiCaprio from Growing Pains would emerge as one of the most sought-after actors of his generation?

After showing enough quirk appeal to get an Oscar nomination with What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, he developed into heartthrob material, almost making us believe that an Irish peasant could romance a fine lady on the Titanic before it went down.

A few flops and some pounds later, Leo started establishing himself as a real actor, going to dark places by plumbing the intensity that lurks behind his baby face and liquid eyes.

*He nabbed Oscar nominations for Best Actor for The Aviator and Blood Diamond.

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*Scorsese repeatedly turned to him as his new De Niro (Gangs of New York, The Departed, Shutter Island) and Spielberg liked him for Catch Me If You Can.

*And head-trippy Christopher Nolan put him at the center of Inception, the summer's big cerebral action thriller hit, which is blowing people's minds and wallets wherever Twizzlers are served.

Leonardo is clearly the commercial auteur's go-to guy for juicy movie-star leads.

But let me steal your thoughts here:

Is Leonardo all that? Does he deserve to be the king of the world?

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