Leonardo DiCaprio has been very busy promoting his latest film Inception, and while the A-list actor looks great in a suit and tie, the shirtless look also fits him quite well. Leo strips down and gets shirtless on a bed in the new issue of Rolling Stone and talks about growing up in Hollywood, dating and losing his childhood friends Jonathan Brandis and River Phoenix.
“I was essentially a dwarf with the biggest mouth in the world,” Leo tells Rolling Stone on growing up. “I would talk back to anyone and be up for any fight, and when you tell a kid that’s three years older than you to shove it, you’re going to get your ass beat…I was a real punk, there’s no question about it.”
Leo also opens up about his early years of Hollywood partying, in a world where the paparazzi were a little less involved and TMZ did not exist.
“I got to be wild and nuts, and I didn’t suffer as much as people do now, where they have to play it so safe that they ruin their credibility. I didn’t care what anyone thought…. It was also about avoiding the tornado of chaos, of potential downfall,” he explains.
“It was, ‘Wow, how lucky are we to not have hung out with that crowd or done those things?’ My two main competitors in the beginning, the blond-haired kids I went to audition with, one hung himself [Brandis] and the other died of a heroin overdose [Phoenix]… I was never into drugs at all. There aren’t stories of me in a pool of my own vomit in a hotel room on the Hollywood Strip.”
Leo’s career skyrocketed to the top after his role in Titanic, leading him to Oscar nominations but never a win — as of yet.
He keeps his dating life private and has been romantically linked to supermodel Bar Refaeli for the past couple of years.
“I had better success meeting girls before Titanic,” Leo says of his dating life. “My interactions with them didn’t have all the stigma behind it, not to mention there wasn’t a perception of her talking to me for only one reason.”
So how does he handle Titanic fame?
“It was like there was a separate entity out there. Not to use a James Cameron reference, but it was like being in a little bit of an avatar. [Cringes] That’s going to sound extremely self-indulgent. It’s going to sound like, ‘Oh, I was a frickin’ avatar,’ give me a break, I’m already vomiting.”