The Leonardo Hoax

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Just for Fun / Woodstock

Part 1 — in which hopes are dashed and hearts are broken

I was scrolling down my Facebook page last week when a headline and photo grabbed my eye. Here’s the article, by The McKenzie Post, that went viral with Woodstock Facebook users the day after the Oscars:

leo

Leonardo DiCaprio is Moving to Woodstock, Illinois

Located about 50 miles outside of Chicago, Woodstock, Illinois is a peaceful town filled with people who have almost no connection to the Hollywood lifestyle that Leonardo DiCaprio wants to escape and that’s exactly what he likes about it. In a surprise to everyone in Hollywood and certainly everyone in Woodstock and the Chicago metropolitan area, Oscar winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio announced today in an interview that he was “tired of the Hollywood lifestyle” and that he wanted to “live in a place where people were people and whose sincerity you didn’t have to question”. He recently visited Woodstock while scouting out a film location with producer Martin Scorsese and, according to Scorsese, “Leo immediately fell in love with the relaxed lifestyle and the small town feel of Woodstock and was telling everyone that he was going to move there.” “I’ve accomplished a lot in my career and I feel like I just want to slow down a little bit and moving to a town like Woodstock is exactly what I want in my life right now,” DiCaprio told the magazine. “I’m not giving up my career, I just want to move to a place that feels so different than what I’ve been used to all my life. For me, that place is Woodstock.” We’re sure his move there will be quite the economic boon for the small rural Illinois town.

•••

It seemed too good to be true. But we really, really wanted to believe it. One thing worried me, though. I had never heard of The McKenzie Post. Was it reliable?

Sure enough, after a couple of hours, the bubble of excitement burst. A post from The Northwest Herald, a local newspaper, took its place. Here are some excerpts from it:

No, Leonardo DiCaprio is not moving to Woodstock, Illinois

Sorry to burst your bubble, Leo fans, but source is fake news website.

Fresh off his Oscar win the “The Revenant,” you might have heard Leonardo DiCaprio is moving to Woodstock, Illinois.

He’s not.

Fantasy news site The McKenzie Post posted a story Tuesday that the 2016 Academy Award winner for Best Actor was “tired of the Hollywood lifestyle” and “fell in love” with the “relaxed lifestyle and the small town feel of Woodstock” and would be moving there.

The story has been shared and commented on more than 1,700 times and garnered more than 4,500 likes and 3,800-plus comments, according to SharedCount.com, but sadly the story is “pure fantasy” as The McKenzie Post’s about section confirms.

Part 2 — in which some creative people take the Leo lemons and make lemonade

A day or two later, Leonardo was back in our Facebook feeds. It turns out that he had just applied for his library card at The Woodstock Public Library, which, of course, is impossible without being a resident. Yet here he is.

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Then the Downtown Woodstock Collaboration, a group of local business owners, took the idea and ran with it. The result is a promotion featuring Leo’s visits to many, many businesses. If you would like to see more of Leo’s rounds, check out Facebook.com/DowntownWoodstockCollaboration

Today you will find Leo at Read Between the Lynes, our independent bookstore on the Woodstock Square.

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The staff say they are ready to recommend books for Leo. They are thinking a nice, pleasant book with absolutely no bears in it might suit him.

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