I was crawling around the Gawker sites and fell on this post on Paleofuture, about fake viral images going around. The one on Leonardo DiCaprio, aged 19 and 39, didn't seem very convincingly debunked to me, as just because he wasn't as 19-teenybopper-ish as the supplied counter-image didn't mean the claim wasn't accurate.
So I looked for the actual images they were from, in the perhaps vain hope I'd find the originals and some clue as to time period. One thing that made this difficult is they were black-and-white images and presumably the originals were full colour, which makes a Google Reverse Image Search unreliable at best, or entirely useless at worst. The other problem is that finding multiple copies that haven't been re-saved, spread across Pinterest and girly blogs, or photoshopped into desktop wallpaper makes it quite the challenge.
But I am resourceful and sneaky, and know a few ways to get to the root of things. The right keyword, the right site to search, recognising a clue that can lead you down a new path, all very useful.
I started with young Leo. The 19 year old pic did seem too far off, so I thought maybe it wasn't Gilbert Grape or Romeo and Juliet era, instead probably Titanic. I found some pics that almost matched the shoot on an interview from a magazine conducted in 1998, which then led me to this YouTube video from Entertainment Tonight.
This meant it had to be from 1997, when Leo was aged only 23. Four years past the 19 year claim, but still, 23 and 39 and still looking the same? That's still news, right?
So now I had to prove the other photo was from this year. I had a look through recent photos of Leo and he does look quite different today, his eyes are smaller, his face a bit heavier and squarer. Still looking cute (I guess, I dunno, not my area of expertise) but definitely approaching middle age.
In amongst the search I did find this image. Looking at that collar, haircut, and facial hair, it had to be from the same shoot.
It's really hard to read the little text at the bottom, though, huh? But here's what it says:
"Gangs of New York" photo call
December 8, 2002
In that year Leo was only 28.
A difference of only 5 years, no wonder he looks remarkably unchanged. Not remarkable at all, in fact.