This Russian Leonardo DiCaprio doppelganger is blaming the Covid-19 lockdown for smashing his dreams of becoming a big star.
Prior to the pandemic, Roman Burtsev (39) from Podolsk, Russia, was booking numerous advertising gigs, posing for pictures with fans and in demand for photoshoots thanks to his uncanny likeness to the 46-year-old Hollywood A-lister.
He starred in big commercial campaigns, including for Siberia’s Five Lakes vodka and counterfeit products for iPhone and Adidas.
Now, thanks to his lockdown weight gain, Roman is struggling to book a single job.
“The problems began with the introduction of restrictions in April 2020 and now people have forgotten about me,” Roman says.
His time away from the limelight and failure to shed the extra kilos have also played a role, says the 39-year-old, who hasn't disclosed how much weight his gained.
“I tried many methods for weight loss before finding my own and am now in the process of losing weight,” he adds.
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Roman, who quit his crypto job a few years ago, also had to take his cats and move in with his parents in their two-bedroom flat when the money dried up.
This is not the first time Roman’s weight has been an issue. During a 2016 interview, Roman addressed headlines calling him ‘fat Leo DiCaprio’.
“As far as the weight goes, that's true. That's obvious and there's nothing I can do about that.
“The thing is that people don't know why that is. They don't know, for example, that I have thyroid issues. They just say it without thinking.
“On the one hand, it's true. On the other hand, when people just kind of let loose and express themselves without any self-censorship, that's kind of hurtful,” he said.
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He says he wasn’t at all surprised about the attention he received because of his likeness to the Revenant actor. “I think the attention from the media was completely understandable and natural.
“I had been told previously that there was a certain resemblance to the actor.”
His rise to fame also garnered some attention from women on social media but no serious relationships stemmed from them.
“At first, especially, lots of people were writing. Of course, women sent me sexual and flirting messages. But I don't need adventures, I need family. Now it's kind of tapered off. That was all on social media. There's nobody physically by my side.”
Sources: Daily Mail, Mirror, The Sun, Cosmopolitan