What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
Three of the most notable names in this 1993 blockbuster hit, that left viewers astounded and teary eyed, were Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Juliette Lewis.
Johnny Depp– One of the most recognized names in the movie industry. While he has been deemed one of America’s biggest heartthrobs, he is also more than a pretty face. He is one of the most versatile actors of his day, putting him undoubtedly in the category of wild card actors. His ability to adapt to any environment, and take on almost any character role with the upmost finesse. His role as Gilbert Grape was one of his more serious, real life portrayals. A young man let to be man of the house after his father past away. He is left with the responsibility of caring for his morbidly over weight mother, and mentally challenged younger brother, along with watching over his two younger sisters. The part in which he loses his temper with his brother, then runs off for a time, is easily relatable.
Leonardo DiCaprio– More of an interpretive actor, “actors who take material and put their own stamp on it” (Goodkoontz, 2014), who expertly portrays Gilbert’s mentally handicapped brother, Arnie. DiCaprio often plays dramatic roles, with a touch of mischief. For those who were first introduced to DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape were under the impression he really was handicapped. Arnie continuously runs off, getting into trouble, and wreaking havoc on his care takers, often for the joy of it. In the scene mentioned before, Arnie smiles after seeing the distress he put on his big brother.
Juliette Lewis– I would classify her as a personality actor. Most of her roles are supporting roles, very rarely starring in films. Just as in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape she plays Gilbert’s love interest. As in most of her films, she portrays a somewhat dim witted, but insightful character offering unexpected wisdom. Her most memorable trademark being her voice and laugh.
Johnny Depp has been one of my most favored actors mostly in part to his remarkable talent. He has a long resume filled with a variety of roles from his first on screen appearance as Freddy’s victim; to a serious, opium addicted detective in From Hell; to a schizophrenic writer in Secret Window; and a cunning, quick witted pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean. His multi-facetted persona leaves movie goers in awe at his ability to take on any role.