Stephen Graham has revealed why Leonardo DiCaprio came up with the nickname ‘Animal’ for him.
The nickname ‘Animal’ may not be the most endearing, but if I was being called it by Leonardo DiCaprio, I probably wouldn’t mind.
I have a fair share of nicknames myself: Pops, poopy, oh and I’m called ‘Noodle’ by my mum – and before you ask, no, I have no idea why. However, I am yet to receive a nickname from anyone as famous as DiCaprio.
During the programme, host Graham Norton questioned Graham about the many nicknames given to him by co-stars.
“I’ve had a couple,” the actor admitted.
Clearly on first name basis – and beyond – Graham explained how when he worked with ‘Leo’ on Gangs of New York in 2002, The Wolf of Wall Street star gave him the nickname ‘Animal’.
Graham revealed he gained the nickname as a result of the pair going out ‘drinking in Italy’.
He said: “Me being from Liverpool and half-Irish, I’d usually be able to drink quite well. So he called me, ‘Animal’.”
DiCaprio’s nickname for Graham was also born out of a near-accident which the two almost became involved in.
On The Jonathon Ross Show in 2019, Graham recalled a moment on the set of Gangs of New York when he was driving his co-star along in a golf cart.
Two days before filming started, Graham spotted DiCaprio in a golf buggy and asked if he could have a go.
He recalled: “I’m driving this golf cart straight down the hill and we’ve come to a corner, and I’ve looked at DiCaprio and, we’re bombing down this hill and as I’ve turned the corner, I’ve hit a brick and the golf cart started to tip.
“It’s gone like in slow motion and, as it’s gone, his leg’s underneath. It looks like it’s going to land on his foot. And then he just pulled it in and it’s hit the floor.”
After the incident – which nearly ended up with DiCaprio suffering from a broken leg, which could have meant the ‘150 million dollar film’ couldn’t be filmed – DiCaprio said he ‘f**king love[d]’ Graham despite him being ‘crazy’.
The nickname ‘Animal’ has apparently stuck ever since.