DiCaprio's global warning: '11th Hour' a ticking clock

Wants viewers 'to be scared' by film

Leonardo DiCaprio wants to us to be very afraid of global warming. And then he wants us to do something about it.

In Cannes to promote his global-warming documentary "The 11th Hour," DiCaprio admits his mega-celebrity is a double-edged sword when it comes to drawing attention to the environmental issues addressed in the film.

"I'm completely aware of the fact that my mere attachment, being someone from quote-unquote Hollywood, will garner a certain amount of skepticism and criticism," DiCaprio said in an interview. "This is why I wanted to pose myself (in the film) as a concerned citizen, not as an expert. I ask the questions and allow (the environmental scientists) to give the answers."

DiCaprio co-wrote "11th Hour" with directors Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen and was involved in the production "from soup to nuts," according to the directors. "Everything from what the movie is about to who is in it to the issues discussed — every frame in that film was discussed by Leonardo, Nadia and I," Petersen said.

DiCaprio said it was Al Gore who inspired him to get involved in environmental issues after the actor met with the then-vice president at the White House in the early 1990s.

But, the actor said, with "11th Hour" he is targeting a slightly different audience than Gore's Oscar-winning environmental docu "An Inconvenient Truth" from last year.

"I didn't want to make this an overly political film, where you think that just because of your political affiliation, you are somehow to blame," he said. "It is not about preaching to the choir, about reaching an audience that already gets it and already wants to become active. … It goes beyond whether you are a Democrat or Republican in the United States. It goes beyond that."

But DiCaprio also doesn't want to let anyone off the hook. "11th Hour" is unrelenting in its presentation of just how grave the situation is.

"I was very conscious in the movie to say I want the public to be very scared by what they see," he said. "I want them to see a very bleak future. I want them to feel disillusioned halfway through and feel hopeless. And then when we get into the entire section in the second half, when we talk about the alternatives or green technology, you realize there is great hope and there are options on the table. And hopefully the audience is moved and galvanized to do something about it. Hopefully."