How do you blow off steam during the summer? Do you find a pool and take a dip? Do you have a nice glass of rosé as the sun sets? Maybe play a little golf? Do you stay inside and allow yourself to be enveloped by the cool air of an A.C. unit? Do you round up a rotating cast of your best—but much younger—bros for a weekly beach volleyball match?
If you answered “yes” to the last question, congratulations: You’re Leonardo DiCaprio.
Every summer, Leo finds something he likes, and then he does it frequently during the months of June through August. In the summer of ’14, it was Super Soakers. In the summer of ’16, it was Citi Bikes and wearing weird French slip-ons. This summer, it’s beach volleyball. It all started at Sean Penn’s Fourth of July party (a cursed sentence). In a plain white T-shirt, a Yankees hat, and gray sweat shorts—because that’s what you usually wear to a summer party—Leo was engrossed in a game of beach volleyball, flailing around, settin’ like crazy, staring at female opponents, and of course, vaping. (“For being such a philanthropic environmentalist, the Cowspiracy producer has always seemed to enjoy smoking and polluting his own lungs,” wrote the Daily Mail.)
He was clearly hooked (on volleyball), and less than two weeks later he was spotted back in Malibu, spiking around the ol’ cow carcass (what cool volleyball dudes call a volleyball, I’m assuming) again, this time with Ansel Elgort.
Top Gun 2 looks pretty good pic.twitter.com/zN9LWsJm51— Andrew Gruttadaro (@andrewgrutt) July 17, 2018
“Leonardo DiCaprio, 43, teams up with Ansel Elgort, 24, for intense volleyball match in Malibu,” read the Daily Mail’s headline, subtly inserting each actor’s age to emphasize how strange it was for them to be doing sports together. This past Sunday, it happened again. Leo took to the court with a new, still-much-younger celebrity: Scott Eastwood.
At this point I’m just flabbergasted. Leonardo DiCaprio’s turn toward playing beach volleyball with significantly younger actors is a trend I wasn’t expecting. I’m sure I’m not alone in this state of confusion, so I’ve assembled this FAQ to at least try to clear some things up.
1. Did Leonardo DiCaprio know what beach volleyball was before July 4, 2018?
Surprisingly: Yes, he did. In 2014, he played a game with Lukas Haas and Leo’s then-girlfriend, Toni Garrn. (It was his Revenant phase; the photos are delightful.) Then, at a Memorial Day party in 2017, he played beach volleyball with Haas, Adrien Brody, and a model named Elizabeth Turner. Based on photos of the incidents, it appears that both took place on the same sand court that Leo has been using this summer. (Note the glass railing and the stone wall.)
2. So why is Leonardo DiCaprio just now getting into beach volleyball?
Hey man, you never know when that volleyball itch is gonna hit, but when it does, you gotta scratch it.
3. Has Leonardo DiCaprio ever taken his shirt off during a game of beach volleyball?
4. Has anyone else taken their shirt off during one of the games of beach volleyball?
5. Is it weird that everyone else has their shirts off except Leonardo DiCaprio?
It’s pretty weird.
6. Why won’t he do it?
Because getting old is hard.
7. OK, but if that’s the case, why doesn’t he just play beach volleyball with people his age?
If I had to guess, Leo probably feels invigorated by the youthful air surrounding him when he volls (verb—short for volleyball). Ansel Elgort can dunk a basketball, and Scott Eastwood is at least somewhat athletic-looking. While you wouldn’t say either of those things about Leo, perhaps the mere presence of these guys makes him feel like you could.
8. How does one get recruited to play beach volleyball with Leonardo DiCaprio?
That’s a great question … that I can’t answer. Some follow-ups: Is Leo choosing guys based on height or just athleticism? How much thought is he putting into it? Does he ask an assistant which celebrities are in town and just wait until he hears a name of one who’s still young? When he makes his choice, does he send a text like, “You down to dig later?”
9. Who are the other volleyball players, and how are they recruited?
This one’s also beyond me. I can’t tell if it’s a pickup situation and these other guys are just random dudes (lucky them!) or if they’re like, The Guy Who Holds Leo’s Cell Phone and The Guy Who Buys Leo’s Hats.
10. Has Lukas Haas not been available?
I thought Lukas Haas was always available for Leonardo DiCaprio. Sadly, it appears he’s aged out.
11. Who will Leonardo DiCaprio play volleyball with next?
Based on Elgort and Eastwood’s characteristics, we can say with some accuracy that Leo is looking for white male actors 5-foot-11 or taller, between the ages of 24 and 32, and between a 6 and a 7.5 (out of 10) in terms of fame. Here is a list of some people who fit that description:
- Liam Hemsworth
- Pete Davidson
- Glen Powell
- Miles Teller
- Cole Sprouse
- Armie Hammer
- Cousin Greg from Succession
- Ben Affleck
OK, fine, I know Ben doesn’t fit most of the qualifications. But I still think Leo should give him a call, and I definitely think Ben should go shirtless.
12. Is this whole thing a ruse to hang out with girls on the beach?