ENTERTAINMENT

Leonardo DiCaprio Opens Up About His Three Near-Death Experiences

"If a cat has nine lives, I think I’ve used a few."

In "The Revenant," Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a revenge-stricken frontiersman who survives a brutal bear attack (not rape) only to be buried alive by members of his hunting team.

Well, the 41-year-old actor is so method that he actually almost died three times in real life. DiCaprio candidly discussed his brushes with death in an interview with Wired, which he covers for the January 2016 "Survival" issue.

"My friends have named me the person they least want to do extreme adventures with, because I always seem to be very close to being part of a disaster," he revealed. "If a cat has nine lives, I think I’ve used a few."

He calls his first close call with death "the shark incident." 

A great white jumped into my cage when I was diving in South Africa ... Half its body was in the cage, and it was snapping at me ... The great white took about five or six snaps an arm’s length away from my head. The guys there said that has never happened in the 30 years they’d been doing it.

Next, he described a Delta Airlines flight to Russia that almost ended in disaster.

I was in business class, and an engine blew up in front of my eyes. I was sitting there looking out at the wing, and the entire wing exploded in a fireball. I was the only one looking out at the moment this giant turbine exploded like a comet ... They shut all the engines off for a couple of minutes, so you’re just sitting there gliding with absolutely no sound, and nobody in the plane was saying anything. It was a surreal experience. They started the engines back up, and we did an emergency landing at JFK.

Lastly, there was the sky dive from hell, which almost ended in paralysis.

It was a tandem dive. We pulled the first chute. That was knotted up. The gentleman I was with cut it free. We did another free fall for like another 5, 10 seconds. I didn’t even think about the extra chute, so I thought we were just plummeting to our death. He pulled the second, and that was knotted up too. He just kept shaking it and shaking it in midair, as all my friends were, you know, what felt like half a mile above me, and I’m plummeting toward earth. [Laughs.] And he finally unravels it in midair. The fun part was when he said, 'You’re probably going to break your legs on the way down, because we’re going too fast now.'

For DiCaprio, however, arguably his greatest feat has been surviving Hollywood all these years. The "Titanic" star is one of the few child actors to transition into adulthood without falling into the typical trappings of fame. 

"I think I survive because I don’t limit myself," he said, unpacking his views on celebrity. "If there’s some experience I want to have or a place I want to go, I do it. I think that’s how I bring some semblance of normality to my life."

No more shark swimming or sky diving for you, Leo. Hollywood is hard enough. 

For more from DiCaprio, head over to Wired for the full interview.

Also on HuffPost:

PHOTO GALLERY
Celebrity News & Photos
CONVERSATIONS