In contrast to old superstitions about lefties being somehow connected to evil, it’s now a common belief that left-handed people could be more intelligent, more creative, and even more athletic than their right-handed counterparts. Could this actor, environmentalist, and film producer be left-handed too?
Leonardo DiCaprio is not left-handed, nor is he ambidextrous. DiCaprio, along with an estimate of 7 billion people, or 90 percent of the world’s population, is right-handed.
Read on to find out more about DiCaprio, left-handedness among actors, and why lefties are so rare.
Questions about DiCaprio’s handedness came up at the earliest parts of his career. In the movie Titanic, which is often cited as the film that launched DiCaprio’s acting career, there’s a scene in which his character, Jack, sketches Rose.
Cameron had the shots of him drawing flipped, so what we see in the film is a mirror image of what was filmed. They had to be flipped to match the character of Jack, who is right-handed since DiCaprio is right-handed.
Another reason why people may have been confused about DiCaprio’s dominant hand is because of videos like this one, showing DiCaprio running up and scaring Jonah Hill, one of his co-stars from the movie The Wolf of Wall Street.
It’s usually easy to tell someone’s handedness by paying attention to which one they show a preference for–which hand they use first, gesture with, and other tells. In videos like the one with Hill, it’s harder to guess which hand is DiCaprio’s dominant one, as both of them are in use.
Right Handed vs. Left Handed
Confusion about whether someone is left-handed or right-handed is especially common with actors, as what is presented on stage or screen is almost always flipped.
Depending on the angle of the camera and the screen direction, it can be hard to tell which way someone’s left or right is. Not all directors take the time to ensure continuity like James Cameron did in the Titanic sketching scene.
Very often, audience members are tripped up by the cameras switching their point of view and having to reorient. In just watching a film without trying to remain situated the whole time, it’s not very noticeable, but in determining things like an actor’s handedness it can be hard to keep track of.
This confusion can inspire posts like this one, where a user says that one of his movies, The Aviator, tricked them into thinking he was left-handed. So, despite the large majority of people and actors being right-handed, they can seem to be left-handed on screen because of the camera’s viewpoint.
So that’s why a lot of actors seem left-handed when they’re not. But why is left-handedness so rare?
Preference and Human Bias
While left-handed people are now rumored to be smarter, more artistic, and more likely to win at sports, they weren’t always recipients of such positive stereotypes.
Original beliefs about lefties associated them with evil, as being in a majority right-handed world means that some movements like handwriting or using right-handed tools were unnatural for them.
This association may have caused originally left-handed people to become ambidextrous, or learn how to use both hands equally, so they wouldn’t be subject to this connection. Another reason could be more behavioral.
Humans are very social, so we interact with and learn from each other all the time. This means that cooperation, or our ability to work with one another by doing things like sharing tools, is very important–proof of this cooperation is that the majority of humans are right-handed.
So, lefties being rare has a scientific explanation–though lefties being more intelligent or more creative is still up for debate.