In 2014, Jared Leto smiled and winked at me and let me hold his Oscar in the pressroom. It’s been love ever since. There isn’t one member of the management or hired guns covering the Academy Awards that made me feel anything less than welcome. Maybe it’s due to the fact that as craftspeople, we understand that it takes a skilled “village” to make the magic of cinema happen.

Whatever marketing hook is thrown into the mix to get “tongues wagging” becomes a side bar as the whirlwind award season connects the heart of the filmmaking community, where they can talk shop, forge new relationships and marvel that we get paid for a job “we love”—a unique distinction that many people can’t claim. They are storytellers are dreamers, and I consider myself one of the tribe.

Here is what Leonardo DiCaprio, winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor for “The Revenant,” and director Alejandro G. Inarritu, Best Director, “The Revenant,” had to share on that subject.

AmNews: What do you guys love about being storytellers?

Inarritu: What? What?

What do you love about being a storyteller?

Inarritu: Go, Leo. You first.

DiCaprio: Look, I grew up in East Los Angeles. I was very close to the Hollywood studio system, but I felt detached from it my whole life. And to have had parents that have allowed me to be a part of this industry, to take me on auditions every day after school, and to tell stories like this has been my dream ever since I was 4 years old. And this film to me was exemplary in the sense that I got to work with a director. And all the things we spoke about off camera during the making of this movie transferred their way on screen. This was true storytelling. We really got to have a collaborative experience together, and this was a journey that I’ll never forget with Alejandro. It took up, you know, such a large portion of our lives, but as a result, we have a great film to look back on for years to come.

Inarritu: For me … I think that life is so uncontrollable. I think we are all the time, you know, it’s impermanent, everything. And I think that storytelling is a way for us to feel, in a way, to confront a huge amount of emotions and possibilities and feel, you know, beautiful and horrible emotions, but always in a way being in a comfortable zone knowing there is another story that can teach us a lot. So it’s a way to control life, you know, to have an oxygen capsule of life without suffering for real, that can teach us for when the time comes, for being in love or do we have a problem, we can suddenly get what is that idea. So storytelling is, I think, oxygen for life that protects us. You know, that’s how I feel.