Fold Out Giant Poster Mag - TV Stars 1998


I really donīt want to be a mainstream movie star




Youīve got a reputation for being a bit of a party animal - is that deserved or is it all made up?

Well, I do like a good party. On New Yearīs Eve, 12 of my friends and I had a wild time, partying in a waterfront mansion in South Beach. We had caviar, oysters and champagne. Then the next night I was out again, at Bash - a club in South Beach (owned by actor Sean Penn). So, yeah, I suppose I do like a good party!

Youīre a big heartthrob with all the laydees - I bet you donīt have trouble finding someone to take to all those premieres, do you?

Iīve only actually taken one girl, Kristen Zang, to a premiere which was in 1996. But at Cannes I took my Mom and my grandma, Helena, with me - theyīre the two main ladies in my life!

So youīre a real home boy, then.

Yes, I actually only moved out of Momīs house last November and I still go back to play my Sony Playstation. Iīm totally addicted to it!

How do you feel about all the adoring girls who chase you?

Itīs something Iīm still not used to and honestly I really donīt expect it. When I was in Paris filming what will be my next film, The Man in the Iron Mask, I was chased through the Louvre by a pack of girls - I had to run and run to get away!

What about Tokyo? We heard girls there were declaring they were ready to die for you!

Yeah, we had to have police protection as there were thousands of hysterical girls surrounding the theater. Itīs great to get that kind of attention, but itīs also strange at the same time because you donīt actually know these people individually.

What about your showbiz pals - do you spend a lot of time with them, too?

I spend most of my time with my boyhood pals from Los Angeles. Thereīs a few of us, like Tobey Maguire, whoīs another actor (You can catch him in The Ice Storm, and he also was Leoīs assistant on Titanic).

So youīre a loyal mate, then?

Yes! Iīm a good buddy and I fly my friends over when Iīm filming on location. When I was in Paris my friends had a car to take them all sightseeing. It was cool cosī we had a rooftop appartment with a ping pong table and video games which was cool, as I love Playstation.

You tend to play unused characters (The Basketball Diaries, Marvinīs Room, Whatīs Eating Gilbert Grape?) or romantic types (Romeo & Juliet). Do you take a lot of time deciding which roles to take?

Definitely. The thing is, I really donīt want to become a mainstream movie star, and even with Titanic I was weary at first because James Cameronīs other films included The Terminator and True Lies, which were a bit more action packed than simply acting. But Titanic turned out well. You know I turned down the part of Robin in Batman Forever. I like deep, complexe characters to tackle - Iīm really not interested in being a star...

A lot of people still call you "young Leo" and refer to you as a boy. Do you think your last two roles have proved youīre now an adult?

Well, Iīm 23 now, and Titanic was, as you call it, an adult part! Iīve read that Kate (Winslet) and Billy (Zane) have referred to me as a man. Billy said the film made a man out of me and Kate has said you canīt call me a boy anymore!

So does that mean youīre all grown up now?

Ha ha, Iīm not sure about that. Youīd better ask the people Iīve worked with! Letīs just say being a clown comes naturally! I suppose itīs the best way to get to know the other actors or actresses for the first time, by being yourself, and I think I have a great sense of humour - but as soon as the cameras are on me Iīll be deadly serious. After all, itīs my work!