leonardo dicaprio at the cannes film festival

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Viral photo of Leonardo DiCaprio sitting next to a model sparks a copypasta meme

‘Just for some context, these two are the same ages as Leonardo DiCaprio & his new girlfriend.’


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Leonardo DiCaprio’s dating life has long been the stuff of scrutiny, but a now-viral photo of DiCaprio sitting next to a 19-year-old model led to dating rumors and a copypasta meme to highlight the vast age gap present between the two.

Last week, photos of DiCaprio and Israeli model Eden Polani first appeared in publications like the Daily Mail. DiCaprio and Polani were sitting next to each other at a music release party in Los Angeles. While the article didn’t explicitly say the two were dating—although the existence of the article seemed to suggest as much—it mentions other well-known factors about DiCaprio’s dating life, such as the name of the woman he was most recently seen out with (Victoria Lamas), the vast age gap between them (DiCaprio is 48 while Lamas is 23), and DiCaprio’s history of almost exclusively dating younger women (save for Gigi Hadid at 27, all of them have been 25 or younger).

It didn’t take much for people to believe DiCaprio was dating a 19-year-old. What followed is a lot of what we’ve seen before: Lots of dissection and jokes about DiCaprio’s dating MO and the documented history of breakups occurring before his girlfriend turned 26. But highlighted even more than usual was the 29-year age gap between DiCaprio and Polani.

In the days since, the chatter around those dating rumors became so pronounced that they were debunked: According to TMZ, “a source close to Leo” said that not only was DiCaprio not dating Polani, he wasn’t seriously dating anyone right now.

Before that denial came through, one tweet posted a photo of The Last of Us stars Pedro Pascal (who’s 47) and Bella Ramsey (who’s 19) in comparison to DiCaprio.

It highlighted that Pascal and Ramsey are about as far apart in age as DiCaprio and Polani. In the show, Pascal and Ramsey form an unlikely father-daughter bond in the face of an unforgiving dystopian apocalypse.

Multiple people also brought up Stranger Things’ co-stars David Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown, who have a similar father/daughter dynamic on TV and have nearly 30 years between them.

Out of context, it’s a comparison between several groups of people who are nearly 30 years apart from one another. In context, it’s meant to highlight the weight of what someone who is nearly 50 dating a 19-year-old looks like in a way that the memes around his breakup with Camila Morrone last year couldn’t.

But even if someone close to DiCaprio debunked those dating rumors, that hasn’t stopped people from taking the text of @Cooperstreaming’s tweet and applying it to other characters or situations where there is a comical gap between two things.

If the fervor and discourse around the mere rumor of DiCaprio’s latest romantic entanglement is any indication, whenever he does date again, people might be paying even more attention now.

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