US TV: Entertainers with Byron Allen - broadcasted February 2000


Interview with Leonardo


Byron: Leonardo !

Leonardo: How are you ?

Byron: How are you doing, man?

Leonardo: Good. How are you doing?

Byron: Good. Youīre stayinī busy, huh?

Leonardo: Trying to, yeah.

Byron: Yeah.

Leonardo: Actually I have some time off... Iīm preparing for my next movie.

Byron: Is that right?

Leonardo: Yeah.

Byron: How do you prepare for your films? What do you do?

Leonardo: It depends, you know. A lot of things take... certain films take a lot of research, others donīt... you know, to get involved with the character... wether it be more working out or whatever. But, you know, it depends. Each role is different.

Byron: Now how old were you when you started acting?

Leonardo: Thirteen years old.

Byron: Were you? Okay. And what was the first thing you did?

Leonardo: Uh, I did a Matchbox commercial for Matchbox cars.

Byron: Okay. And I saw you... what was... I saw you on a sitcom.

Leonardo: Uh hm, Growing Pains.

Byron: Okay, alrighty. That was your big break?

Leonardo: That was... I did a series called Parenthood before that and that was my sort of big break... and then from Growing Pains I just went to do, uh, my first movie, which was This Boyīs Life.

Byron: This Boyīs Life... okay. Your success has just been outstanding. Are you surprised at all?

Leonardo: Yeah, absolutely. Iīm surprised. I feel very... you know... I feel like the lucky guy.

Byron: Do you?

Leonardo: You know, Iīve been able to lead an interesting life because of all this. Thatīs the main thing... you know, more so than anything else, itīs made my life really interesting (laughs).

Byron: Okay.

Leonardo: Interesting being the key word. Yeah.

Byron: Yeah. Whatīs the most difficult thing about your life?

Leonardo: The most difficult thing? Well, thereīs pros and cons with everything, you know? Sometimes, you know, you donīt want to be recognized or bothered in certain, certain times, you know? But, uh, you know, for the opportunity that itīs given to me career-wise, I wouldnīt give it up for anything.

Byron: Do you feel like to you live in a little bit of a "glass bubble" here?

Leonardo: At certain times, you know, when things are said that you donīt necessarily agree with or that are completely false, that can get a little frustrating at times. But Iīve always been of the school of thinking that I think that the work of a person is more representational than anything else, than anyone could ever say about you, you know what I mean?

Byron: Right.

Leonardo: The work speaks for yourself and who you are is shown through your profession, you know?

Byron: Yeah. Now, are you comfortable being a sex symbol? Cuz, I know thatīs difficult for me.

Leonardo: (laughs)

Byron: (laughs) Hey, you shouldnīt be laughing, now.

Leonardo: I donīt think anyone could be comfortable with that. No, Iīm not comfortable with that... I wouldnīt say I would be...

Byron: Yeah, yeah.

Leonardo: .... comfortable wouldnīt be the key word, no.

Byron: But Iīm sure there are places you go and just the women are just losing their minds?

Leonardo: Um, (laughs) Iīd say more during like a premiere time that it gets a little bit hectic, you know?

Byron: Yeah.

Leonardo: When you go out and, um, do the press junkets and you go to premieres and stuff like that, they can get a little crazy. But, other than that, they donīt really know where I am. So, thatīs good.

Byron: You hide.

Leonardo: I try to. I... I wouldnīt say I hide. No, I donīt hide.

Byron: Thatīs true, you know what, cuz you have a bit of reputation here for getting out there and having some fun.

Leonardo: I refuse that sort of, you know, be a hermit. Iīm going to do whatever I want, whenever I want and not sort of let this, let this thing control me.

Byron: Uh hm.

Leonardo: Thatīs my attitude about it.

Byron: There you go. Tell about this film.

Leonardo: Uh, it has a lot to do with, uh, you know, I wouldnīt say my generation, but this character is certainly representational of, you know, a young man who is so influenced by this sort of digital revolution thatīs going on and the constant influx of media in his life and he doesnīt, heīs not, heīs not in connection with any real experience... he goes out in search of something like that and he finds his tropical, you know, pirate utopia that out there.... and it seems to be the answer to all his problems, and everything heīs ever wished for... and then he realizes that there is no place like that out there... you know what I mean? Itīs all, you know, itīs a false thing, itīs a false concept... you canīt have something like that... you canīt have, there is no paradise thatīs going to answer all your problems. That you have to deal with who you are and youīre left to your own demons and your own devices in the end and thatīs what he realizes towards the end of the movie.

Byron: When you look back on your body of work, what do you want to see?

Leonardo: I want to see a wide variety of different characters, you know? I want to see, you know, a lot of different, subversive films, hopefully. Films that take different chances. You know, sometimes films that say something.

Byron: Uh hm.

Leonardo: I think this film really says a lot of different things. Uh, and you know, I just want to keep growing and expanding as an actor and try different things. Thatīs my main objective.

Byron: And what do you like to do when youīre not working?

Leonardo: A lot of different stuff... like do a lot of... oh, God, what would I say? The first thing that comes to mind is go to basketball games.

Byron: Is that right?

Leonardo: I like my Lakers, yeah.

Byron: There you go. And you know, before I forget... you have to tell us, for all our ladies out there, describe the perfect woman for you.

Leonardo: Oh boy... oh boy, I havenīt found her yet, man. (laughs)

Byron: But youīve got to have an idea... go ahead and give us a list, cuz they would just smack me silly if I didnīt get this list.

Leonardo: I think somebody whoīs an inherently a good person, is the main thing.

Byron: Uh hm.

Leonardo: You know what I mean? Who is genuinely a good person, thatīs what I care about most.

Byron: Okay.

Leonardo: Who doesnīt have any, you know, preconceived ideas about things... or isnīt after anything.

Byron: There you go. Ladies, call Leoardo (laughs)

Leonardo: (laughs)

Byron: Good work, buddy.

Leonardo: Thanks a lot, man. Appreciate it.


This interview was caught and posted by Crisci in February 2000

Thank you !