Despite a career full of great performances, Leonardo DiCaprio has never won an Oscar. This is a fact that has inspired countless Internet memes as people campaign for the actor. It doesn't matter that DiCaprio has three Golden Globes to his name. His fans want him to win an Academy Award and they will not rest until he's on the Oscar stage accepting one.
The frustrating part about DiCaprio's Oscar drought for his supporters is that a majority of them are not Academy members and have no say in the matter. As badly as they want him to win, they can't control what happens. But don't tell that to a group of DiCaprio fans in Russia, who have organized a campaign to ensure he gets an Oscar for his performance in The Revenant, whether the Academy rewards him or not.
According to Metro, DiCaprio's female admirers in Russia's Far East have organized an "Oscar for Leo" initiative. Participants are donating their own personal jewelry, which will be melted and sculpted into an Oscar statue. The pieces of silver and gold will take the approximate shape of an Academy trophy, with a few modifications. Instead of a gold man holding a sword, it will be a silver man holding a golden "choron" (a traditional three-legged Yakut goblet). In addition, the head will be looking up instead of down.
Fundraising for the project has just started. It is estimated that it will cost around $1,300 to build a 12-inch Russian Oscar, but the final size of the statue will vary depending on the number of donations. Currently, 100 people have taken part in the campaign. Organizer Tatyana Yegorova says that since movies are released to wide audiences, the general public has a right to hand out the award. She also mentioned that they are working on a way to guarantee that the statue (which is now being worked on) reaches DiCaprio safely.
While this is a nice gesture, it may end being unnecessary. Many believe DiCaprio's Academy fortunes will change this year. He has taken home a number of the precursors, including the most important - Best Actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. As awards season progressed, DiCaprio has emerged as the odds-on favorite to finally win that elusive first Oscar, a combination of the strong work on display in The Revenant and the "overdue" narrative the Academy loves to take part in from time to time. There's always a chance one of his fellow nominees could pull an upset, but that seems very unlikely at this juncture.
Regardless of what happens on Oscar Sunday, one has to appreciate the dedication of the Russian moviegoers. There are many people out there who want to see DiCaprio win the Academy Award, but few would be willing to go to these extreme measures and take matters into their own hands. According to Yegorova, their trophy may not be a real Oscar, but it's "just as valid a prize" for DiCaprio's turn as Hugh Glass. Seeing that this was constructed out of love and admiration for the actor, there is some truth behind that statement. For years, viewers have enjoyed watching DiCaprio on the big screen, and now some are giving back via a small token of gratitude.
The Revenant is now playing in theaters.
The Oscars telecast takes place on Sunday, February 28, 2016 on ABC.