As the 88th Academy Awards veer ever closer, it seems as if the whole world is throwing its support behind Leonardo DiCaprio. The three-time Golden Globes winner is hotly-tipped to end his barren run of six nominations, zero Oscars on Sunday following his nomination as Best Actor for his stand-out role in grizzly flick The Revenant – even the bookies are in Leo’s corner, pricing his chances at the there’s-no-way-in-hell-he-won’t-win odds of 1/100.
One person in particular who’s rooting for Leo is Roman Burtsev, a Russian policeman. Just another DiCaprio fan, we hear you ask? Oh no. He’s much more than that.
Burtsev, as you’ve probably gathered, has gained internet notoriety this year for his rather disarming resemblance to the 41-year-old Hollywood star. Ever since the tongue-in-cheek Twitter account @EnglishRussia1 came across Burtsev’s official work photograph, the Russian has found himself equipped with a new person on this earth.
Such a hilarious facial likeness naturally lit the internet up, and Burtsev went unintentionally viral. But, far from bemoaning his transition from pub oddity to world-famous doppelgänger, the policeman has instead shown a fine enterprising streak, intending to profit as much as possible from his 15 minutes of fame.
Setting up his own Instagram account just four weeks ago, Burtsev has already accumulated over 2000 followers who’ve been treated to shots of the policeman at TV studios and malls dressed as some of DiCaprio’s most famous roles. It’s quite a sight: for starters, here’s Burtsev as Hugh Glass from The Revenant, complete in full bear get-up.
Here’s a (clearly unofficial) deleted scene from The Revenant, depicting a slightly different outcome to the real thing where Glass is set upon by a particularly vengeful bear.
It takes some preparation for Burtsev to look his Hollywood best – here’s an exclusive behind-the-scenes shot of his growing entourage.
Reprising DiCaprio’s role in Titanic, Burtsev shows off his best ‘King of the World’ pose with his Rose.
And, just in case you’re not convinced by Burtsev’s sense of self-awareness in the memeification of his life, well, this should be enough proof to certify that he’s very much in on the joke.
Come Sunday’s lavish Hollywood ceremony, then, Leo will definitely have one person in Russia crossing their fingers for him – and who knows, maybe the imminent recipient of this year’s Best Actor gong might even extend an invitation for his Russian cousin to come and join him on the red carpet. That’s a moment that would well and truly end The Cold War.