The XX Factor

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Swedish Doppelgänger: Many Theories, No Clear Answers

Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, unaware—or maybe not?—that a Swedish four-year-old looks exactly like him. 

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Genetics have been exceptionally kind to Swedish bartender Konrad Annerud. The 21-year-old, whose hobbies include skateboarding and posing topless for Instagram photos, bears an uncanny resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio. But not just any old Leonardo DiCaprio—the ‘90s-era Leonardo DiCaprio whose stringy, dirty-blonde hair was forever falling into his eyes, spurring a stirring in the loins of every lucky teenager who learned the story of the Titanic amid the heartrending wails of Céline Dion.

Annerud’s perpetual Leonine pout and upturned nose have made him something of a local celebrity, which he’s mostly taken in stride. “It can be quite annoying sometimes when people call me ‘Leo’ instead of my real name,” he told Swedish news site Nyheter24. “But it’s fun to look like him, I mean, he’s handsome.” (Thanks to Vanity Fair for the translation.) When he travels abroad, though, the badgering gets worse. He says he nearly shaved his head during a trip to Italy because the smitten crowds wouldn’t leave him alone.

Annerud has hit on an important nugget of truth, there. In his hair—a decidedly ’90s bad-boy bowl cut à la Rider Strong—lies the bulk of his power. Without it, and without the spot-on body language that links him to one of the greatest sex symbols of our time, would we still see the spirit of DiCaprio twinkling in his eyes?

Maybe not. But maybe—just maybe—the resemblance goes beyond coiffure and tricks of the light and into the lucky doppelganger’s very genetic makeup.

Let’s do the math. In 1993, when Annerud was likely conceived, DiCaprio was 18 and just hitting the big time in his Oscar-nominated role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. That film was directed by Lasse Hallström—a born-and-raised Swede.

It’s possible that Hallström alerted the government of Sweden to DiCaprio’s knee-weakening beauty. It’s possible that a well-timed cloning experiment made it so that just as DiCaprio aged out of his baby-faced glow, a carbon copy would be mature enough to take up the mantle, ensuring that the world would never have to live without his famous visage.

It’s also possible that DiCaprio—whose love interests have reliably stayed in their early 20s as he’s gotten older—has engineered a complex Benjamin Button scenario to safeguard his eternal youth.

It’s also possible that DiCaprio’s 1993 rise to fame gave him access to fancy people, adoring fans, and world-class travel for the first time. “Leo so could have impregnated a Swedish model at some point,” posits Slate copy editor Heather Schwedel. “It’s just the kind of thing he would do.”

But maybe Annerud’s just like any other celebrity doppelganger, albeit one whose carbon-copy imitation of DiCaprio’s brood-face began as soon as he could get his sticky little hands on a baseball cap:

Instagram commenters have their own theory about Annerud’s father, pictured above, proving that there are far worse doppelgangers in the world than Leonardo DiCaprio—like Creed’s equally brooding Scott Stapp.