Leonardo DiCaprio says he appreciated the “genius’ and “complexity” of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby after re-reading it as an adult.
The feature offers an updated look at the story of an enigmatic wealthy man with a shady past who tries to win back his long lost love.
Speaking at the movie’s New York premiere on Wednesday night, the actor said he found new meaning in the book after reviewing it.
"I had a connection with the character very early on, but not until I picked it up as an adult did I really understand the nuance or the complexity or the symbolism and the genius of Fitzgerald's work," he told MTV News.
Tobey Maguire plays narrator Nick Carraway in the feature.
Despite the novel being a mainstay of American high school and university curriculum, Tobey had not read The Great Gatsby before auditioning for the part.
"I just thought the book was unbelievable," he said. "The words are just gorgeous. What F. Scott Fitzgerald writes — I'm reading thinking like, 'Oh, I might be playing Nick, and I might get to say these lines'. It was pretty exciting."
Isla Fisher, who plays tragic character Myrtle Wilson, also didn’t soak in the book when she read it as a child.
However, like Leonardo, she began to understand the layers and intricacies of the novel after picking it up for the second time.
“Obviously now I see Gatsby as this flawed, obsessed, arrested development kind of guy who's interested in the American dream,” she said.
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