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Leonardo DiCaprio 'Quietly Donated' to Build a New Well While Filming “Blood Diamond” in Africa, Says Director

In Ed Zwick's new memoir, the director reveals details about filming with DiCaprio on the 2006 film

<p>L. Cohen/WireImage</p>

L. Cohen/WireImage

Leonardo DiCaprio walks the walk when it comes to generosity, according to Blood Diamond director Ed Zwick.

In his new memoir Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years, Zwick, 71, recalls how he learned that DiCaprio, now 49, had given money to create a well in a village where they had filmed.

After investigating the source of the project, Zwick discovered that DiCaprio had “quietly donated the funds to leave a place in better shape” than when they arrived.

“In this, and in some many other areas of his life, Leo walks it like he talks it,” Zwick wrote.

The 2006 political thriller Blood Diamond saw DiCaprio as Danny Archer, a smuggler and mercenary on the hunt for a pink diamond discovered in the civil war–torn Sierra Leone. Filming took place in Mozambique and Cape Town, South Africa. According to Zwick, DiCaprio’s practice of providing aid to filming locations eventually became studio policy.

Related: Leonardo DiCaprio Reveals the One Thing He Wants to Do Before Turning 50 Next Year (Exclusive)

<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p>

Moviestore/Shutterstock

A United Nations Messenger of Peace for climate change since 2014, Don't Look Up actor DiCaprio has remained outspoken on protecting the environment. In July 2023, he teamed up with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to launch a $200 million fund to save the Amazon rainforest.

Most recently, DiCaprio starred in Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed Killers of the Flower Moon playing Ernest Burkhart, who becomes complicit in his uncle’s deadly scheme to steal oil and wealth from the Osage Nation.

Related: Lily Gladstone Shares Leonardo DiCaprio’s Text Celebrating Her Killers of the Flower Moon Oscar Nomination

<p>Rodin Eckenroth/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty</p> Leonardo DiCaprio on Dec. 3, 2023.

Rodin Eckenroth/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty

Leonardo DiCaprio on Dec. 3, 2023.

When his costar Lily Gladstone's Oscar nomination was revealed in January, DiCaprio posted a celebratory tribute on his Instagram.

“Congratulations to my dear friend @LilyGladstone for making Oscars history, as the first Native American woman to be nominated for Best Actress in Killers of the Flower Moon, and the fourth Indigenous actress to ever earn a nomination in the category,” he captioned a photo of Gladstone.

Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years is available now wherever books are sold.

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