Jack Black throws shade at Leo DiCaprio: Bryan Cranston ‘is a better actor’


We’re now almost three full weeks removed from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar win. Does it feel like the world has changed, now that THE WOLF PACK is satiated? Will Leo’s win for The Revenant stand the test of time? Will we still watch The Revenant a decade from now and think, “Oh, yes, this is the definitive DiCaprio performance”? I’m just asking. Because it feels like not much has changed. It feels like we can still make fun of Leo’s struggle and his hustle and his neediness. And I love that Jack Black is throwing some shade on Leo’s win. Anyone can easily say “oh, Jack is just being funny, he’s just being silly!” But there’s a vein of truth here.

Jack Black slammed Leonardo when speaking to The Fix this week, saying his Kung Fu Panda 3 co-star Bryan Cranston – who was also nominated in the same category as Leo – ‘is a better actor.’

“He [Cranston] was never going to win it against Leo DiCap in the Revenant,” Jack said. But while the reporter said “it was Leo’s year,” Jack stood firmly by his friend and co-star Bryan, saying: “Bryan Cranston is a better actor. You heard it here. Bryan Cranston is better [at] acting than Leo DiCap. But, Leo DiCap was like dying a lot, he was like wheezing and coughing blood. That’s Oscar. That’s what you’ve got to do.”

During the chat, Jack also seemed to take another swipe at Leonardo while discussing his 2011 comedy and drama film Bernie. The reporter said Jack should have received an Oscar nomination for the film, which prompted Jack to accuse Leonardo of stealing his ‘spot’.

“Thank you. Why didn’t I get an Oscar nomination for that? Oh you know why, I think Leo DiCap took my spot. Because that was the year he had that really bad movie that got Oscar nominated. What was that, where he like played a president that was kind of bald. Did you see that?”

When the reporter didn’t manage to immediately name Leonardo’s 2011 crime and drama film J.Edgar, Jack answered his own question, and said ‘no one’ saw the film. The reporter then pointed out Leonardo actually didn’t get a nomination for that particular role.

“He didn’t? Okay,’ Jack said. ‘It was a different one that I did, that obviously he shouldn’t have got a homage,’ he quickly added.

[From The Daily Mail]

I saw Trumbo and I thought Cranston did solid work in it. If it had been a different year, he might have gotten more buzz, but I don’t think his work was particularly Oscar-worthy. That being said, I definitely think Cranston is a better actor overall. He’s a better actor than Leo, and he’s a better actor than most Oscar-winning or nominate actors. Cranston actually has a wide range – he can do smart comedy, slapstick comedy, high-minded drama, action, romance, whatever. He can be a leading man or a character actor. But I do love that Jack Black is basically saying what a lot of Oscar voters were saying – enough with the wheezing and try-harding, Leo.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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70 Responses to “Jack Black throws shade at Leo DiCaprio: Bryan Cranston ‘is a better actor’”

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  1. Magpie says:

    Cranston becomes his character. Leo is always Leo.

    • Nic919 says:

      Exactly this. Also Jack Black was good in Bernie but J Edgar was directed by Clint Eastwood and his movies always get nominations.

      Considering actors like Peter OToole never won an Oscar and has several iconic performances out there, Leo not having an Oscar was not the biggest tragedy going.

    • Diana says:

      What this awards season proved to me is how much of a great actor is Bryan Cranston. Cause “Trumbo” was s*** to be honest, yet Cranston performance was brilliant. Same with “Brooklyn”, Saoirse Ronan is a fantastic actress yet “Brooklyn” was just OK.

    • Cynthia says:

      OMG did you just “Leo is Leo” Are we watching the same movies that Leo is in? Because I do not see LEO when I watch him in movies. He is now on the same level as Denzel, Deniro , Streep The Departed, Wolf of Wall Street????????????????

      Also, why does it have to be one or the other, I think they are both fantastic actors and Leo’s Oscar is more for his body of work

      • Magpie says:

        His accent was inconsistent in Wolf of WW. Loved the movie but jonah and Margot acted circles around him imo.

  2. als says:

    Don’t blame the player, Jack! Blame the game!

  3. aims says:

    Cranston is an incredible actor.

    • doofus says:

      yes he is! when I see Heisenberg and compare him with “Hal” from Malcolm, there’s just no denying it. he’s so versatile.

      • ichsi says:

        I’m always in awe when the same person can scare the bejeebers out of me and make me laugh like crazy too. Cranston has an amazing range and Black is definitely right, he’s a better actor than Di Caprio. But then, he’s better than most actors out there.

      • Green Girl says:

        I had only seen a few minutes of “Breaking Bad” and I remember thinking “This actor looks familiar. Where have I seen him before?” I wish I could have seen the look on my face when I realized he was “Hal”!

    • SM says:

      And he seems like such a fun person to be around. Unlike the tortured artist Leo. But then again, Jack Black is always playing himself and has a long way to go to reach even Leo’s level.

      • aims says:

        Bryan is hysterical.

      • Mixtape says:

        I do think Jack Black is more interested in making money on a few movies so he can live a non-Hollywood life with his family and takes the easy roles to do so. However, have you seen Bernie? He was fabulous in that.

    • Seán says:

      They’ve recently started rerunning Malcolm in the Middle on TV again. I remember being in awe of how different Bryan Cranston was as Walter White in Breaking Bad from his Hal in Malcolm. Rewatching Malcolm, I was expecting to see some Walterisms in Cranston’s performance. There are none…or nothing hugely obvious. It’s amazing to me. In Malcolm, Cranston just seems like your average height bumbling working class dad. As Walter, he appears taller and more physically imposing. He makes Walter both dangerous and pathetic at the same time. It’s amazing work!

      • Square Bologna says:

        I agree 100% about Cranston making Walter “both dangerous and pathetic at the same time.” That complexity grabbed me the very first time I watched an episode of Breaking Bad, and it’s probably my favorite aspect of the performance: the fear and even cowardice beneath the cold-bloodedness. HUGE Cranston fan now, and we’re in good company, with Anthony Hopkins! 😀

  4. Lex says:

    Ok, but Jennifer Lawrence is definitely not the best actress out there and Taylor Swift’s album was definitely not the best album of the year. These awards mean nothing. It’s about who has the best PR. Although, Leo maybe shouldn’t have won for this particular role, but he is a solid actor with a good resume.

  5. Mia4s says:

    Nothing controversial here! Cranston is a much better actor than Leo and had a lot more range.

    • SwanLake says:


    • Dangles says:

      Cranston is more of a character actor. Leo is a leading actor. So Cranston relies on range. Leo brings persona. Leo could mix it up if he wanted to. He nailed that South African accent in The Blood Diamond and was unconventional in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape all those years ago.

  6. CornyBlue says:

    Leo is way too popular for him to pull off an immersive character. It is always Leo acting as Glass. Same with Lawrence, Jolie and other very very A listers.
    Both of them are tons better than Jack Black tho so he should shut his trap

    • marshmellow says:

      Maybe it’s true for Lawrence or Jolie, but there are very very A listers who disappear into their roles. Anthony Hopkins and Meryl Streep come to mind.

      Leo just always looks like he’s acting. And I don’t think Jack Black is interested in becoming the best and most artistic actor, nor do I think one needs to be the best at something in order to comment on it. I mean, half the people here comment on actors’ works, yet I doubt any commenters here have half the acting skills of even Jack Black…

      • Cabbage says:

        I just saw 13 Hours and looked up James Badge Dale before realising he’s been in about 10 films that I’ve never remembered him in. There are tons and tons of amazing actors who are not A-list who just disappear into their roles. Leo is a movie star. Reliable enough and stratospheric in Gilbert Grape but not really a chameleon. (Christian Bale is one of the best of the A-list.) Directors worry their next product’s not going to be a hit so they cop out by hiring big name stars.

    • Mia4s says:

      I don’t know, you can be pretty damn popular and still do some amazing immersive acting. Daniel Day-Lewis and Christian Bale are the two that come to mind. Leo’s more of a Jack Nicholson; can be really fun to watch but pretty much always playing some version of himself.

      • CornyBlue says:

        I think Daniel Day Lewis is one of the best actors to ever be born but he is not really that famous. Same with Bale post Batman. I meant A listers who are very famous take me out of the movies.

      • Jegede says:

        Funny that’s how I see Daniel Day Lewis
        Always playing that same role of – “I’M INTENSE”.

        Not a fan of his one note scene chewery at all.
        I pretty much know what to expect from all his performances.

        Jack Nicholson and Gene Hackman have range and do it all – villain, hero, romance, biopics, comedy e.t.c

        Their unpredictabilty is what makes their performances interesting fro me.

      • Sunsetsnow says:

        Cate Blanchett comes to my mind.

      • Cabbage says:

        @Jegede Check him out in A Room With a View and Lincoln. But he does veer towards intense roles, I agree.

    • bernie says:

      I don’t that is fair to compare Leo with Lawrence or Jolie. Jolie especially( Who I see more as a tabloid star then a actress). Leo has played lots of memorable roles and can get into his character.
      J-Law is just annoying. I don’t like her from her interviews and her acting is meh. She is the most overrated big star right now.

      • Cabbage says:

        JLaw is overrated beyond belief and her interviews are just the pits, but Jolie has charisma at least, if limited talent.

  7. Gisy says:

    but both are better actors than Jack Black. He should improve on his craft so someone else can champion his cause same way. He sounds like a tool. And why the hard-on for Leo in particular? what was he promoting? Leo?

  8. Squiggisbig says:

    If Bryan Cranston was able to get the types of parts that Leo has gotten I think it would be abundantly clear that Cranston is the better actor. I absolutely think he was fabulous but Trumbo was not good.

  9. Kelly says:

    I agree with him! Leo is so overrated and the environment in the revenant did half the work for Leo.

  10. Div says:

    He’s not wrong. Multiple actors have called the Academy out too for Oscar winning roles being something where the person has to be incredibly over the top or have a break down…..like Ian McKellan was way better than Leo in Mr. Holmes but since it wasn’t a “showy” performance he got screwed over. Benecio Del Toro was also incredible in Sicario and at least BAFTA and the critics circles recognized him, but it wasn’t showy enough for the Oscars.

    • Cabbage says:

      “Benecio Del Toro was also incredible in Sicario” – But he’s pretty selective and does similar roles. If he did every role offered to him everyone would say he acts the same way in every movie.

  11. Birdie says:

    Bryan Cranston did crazy good work in Malcom in the Middle. Watching it after a few years I now realize what a genius role he played.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Jane Kaczmarek as well. They were SO good on that show but comedy looks easy so it’s not really rewarded, not in television and not in film. It’s a shame. It’s hard to make people laugh.

      • Bishg says:

        Thank you!
        Malcolm is pure comedy gold. It was such a smart, intelligent show! Oh, the times I laughed so hard it made me cry..!

      • Josefina says:

        Comedy is incredibly hard, actually. There,s nothing worse than sitting through unfunny jokes. You fail or you succeed. Theres no middle.

    • lisa says:

      i remember seeing the episode where he was a former roller skating champion and thinking, my god this guy is everything. I’m so glad he’s having a great career.

  12. Esther says:

    if the Oscars were about talent and or performance he would have a point. but they are not so its nonsense.

  13. anne_000 says:

    The Oscars are based on popularity. That’s how Paltrow won, imo.

    And of course Cranston is a better overall actor than Leo.

    • Cabbage says:

      I saw bits of Sylvia and have seen Emma, Shakespeare, etc, and agree Paltrow is mediocre.

  14. Insomniac says:

    I knew that story was going to show up here. I really loved it that Jack Black was all pissy that Leo *stole* his deserved nomination with a nomination for “J. Edgar,” which, uh, never actually happened.

    And I know this is going to be a really unpopular opinion, but while I think Cranston is a good actor and really like him, I don’t think he’s *that* much better than Leo or anyone else.

  15. Bam says:

    Both are overrated. And I would like to live in a world where I don’t have to see Leonardo DiCaprio’s bloated, greasy face everywhere.

  16. Nancy says:

    Jack Black’s day as the wacky neighbor, nemesis, are coming to end. It’s his opinion that Cranston is the better actor, cool, but Leo has the Oscar at his house.

  17. Nikki says:

    I think they are both fine actors, but my takeaway from this was that Jack Black is pretty stupid and also graceless. To make a public attack on a semi-powerful actor is just stupid in an industry where work depends on who you know, and it’s also unkind. Last but not least, which of Jack’s stellar roles qualifies him to be the expert?!

  18. holly hobby says:

    Well he’s speaking the truth. I’ve watched Bryan Cranston since his days in the soaps (Loving). He has incredible range.

  19. Ecl0891 says:

    Goodness, Bryan Cranston is not overrated. I loved Malcom in the Middle, but he had me hooked with Breaking Bad. I mean, just…he was phenomenal. !!!

  20. elimouse says:

    I do agree with what Jack said. I love Leo but I think Bryan Cranston is a better actor. He can do anything, he’s totally into the character.

    But to win an Oscar, it’s more about the campaign and popularity than the talent which is kinda sad. (Jennifer Lawrence’s winning for example, I have nothing against her (I like her actually though she can be annoying) and I think she’s a good actress but her Oscar win was not deserving IMO)

    Anyway, it doesn’t really matter now, Leo won. End of the Story. And maybe it won’t Bryan Cranston’s first and last nomination. And honestly, I believe just because one actor or actress doesn’t win an Oscar doesn’t mean they’re not great actors.

  21. Magnoliarose says:

    Thank you Kaiser! Leo is a limited actor and his body of work is mostly Oscar bait. I find his California accent sometimes distracting and I thought The Revenant was good but not great. Though I like to try not to let an actor’s private life color my views on their talent, for some reason I am unable to do that with him more and more. He seems humorless to me and cold. I think he overdid his campaign and it’s hard to forget how desperate it was.
    Jack just said what a lot of people are thinking.

  22. Kelly says:

    The Academy always goes for the over the top win, high brow fare which is why so few comedies and/or musicals win.

    I remember when Gandhi was up against Tootsie. Gandhi won as it was considered ultimately more high brow and more worthy. It’s a great movie, but, for me, I’d much rather watch Tootsie ONE MORE TIME.

  23. lskfjsld says:

    Totally agree. Bryan Cranston is such a good actor and Trumbo was hugely underrated. Leo did not act in that movie he was basically in a tough environment with the cameras on him and his beard.

  24. perplexed says:

    Jack Black might be saying what people are thinking, but if a lady had said this about another actress (even if she was just being funny), people would be talking up feuds and -itchiness and such. Imagine J-Lo saying that Jennifer Lawrence didn’t deserve her Oscar? It must be swell to be a guy.

    • bernie says:

      Personally, I think it was classless of Jack to shade Leo out in the open like that. It has nothing to do with being a man/woman. To trash your colleagues and say ” Oh but so and so were/ is the better actor” is a rude.

  25. Neil says:

    Cranston is the better actor but Leo is the better Star. In the hierarchy of awarded actors and actresses a “big” Star giving a “good” performance trumps almost any performance given by a “great” actor or actress. The only time a great actor wins in a situation like this is when he or she gives a “great/memorable” performance in either a “great” or very popular movie.

  26. TyrantDestroyed says:

    Well, here is to hope we can talk about something else rather than DiCaprio’s Oscar for the rest of 2016.

  27. Ashley says:

    I prefer leo,but whatever. People can moan and be bitchy all they want,Leo is the one who has the Oscar at home. Leo has a great body of work,no need to tear him down,to build up cranston.

  28. serena says:

    Well, he’s damn right. Cranston is an amazing actor, I wish he had won.

  29. Marianne says:

    Leo was good in The Revenant, but its not his best performance to date imo.

  30. Chinoiserie says:

    But Leo wasn’t nominated for J.Edgar or in 2011 at all…

  31. manta says:

    ” Will we still watch The Revenant a decade from now and think, “Oh, yes, this is the definitive DiCaprio performance”?”
    And if we don’t what’s the big deal? Is Scent of a woman the definite Pacino performance, the film we all watch when we want to see Al at his best? Is Training day the ultimate Denzel Washington performance rather than Malcolm X or The hurricane? Or As good as it gets a display of Nicholson at his best?
    Di Caprio may have won for a film that many here think as minor (I liked it ) but he’s not the first in this case. And to answer your question, decades after, people just remember the fact that the person won.
    On a sidenote, the fact that Black thinks Di Caprio stole his thunder a year he wasn’t even nominated reeks bitterness.