Film director Fisher Stevens, who worked with DiCaprio, 41, on the new documentary Before the Flood, opened up about the scary incident in a new interview with GQmagazine.
“I was filming [oceanographer] Sylvia [Earle] and I had this little easy camera to shoot underwater, and he was Sylvia’s diving buddy, so I said, ‘Would you film Sylvia?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I love it, man, I love it,'” Stevens, 52, recalled.
“I was diving buddies with Edward Norton. So we go down and we see 300 Eagle Rays and Spotted Rays and it was an amazing dive,” he continued. “Leo bolts away with Sylvia, and Edward goes in front of me, and the next thing I know after 20 minutes, I’d lost them all. Then, I see Leo barely breathing, because Leo’s tank was leaking oxygen, and Edward had to save him!”
The situation was terrifying, but it brought Stevens and the Oscar winner closer together. “It was pretty crazy. But he actually did get some film for me and it was good for a second, and then it got pretty shaky when he couldn’t breathe,” Stevens told GQ. “But we really bonded on that trip.”
DiCaprio has had his fair share of near-death experiences. In the past, a great white shark jumped into his cage when he was diving in South Africa, a plane engine exploded during his Delta Airlines flight to Russia and his parachute almost didn’t open when he went skydiving.
Last December, the Revenant actor joked about his many brushes with death during an interview with Wired. “If a cat has nine lives, I think I’ve used a few,” he said at the time.