Hello - May 9, 2000


Leonardo takes on the President

But the controversial tv interview was cut down to just 2 minutes

Leonardo DiCaprioīs controversial interview with President Bill Clinton has finally been aired on American television - but is was seen by many as a disappointment.

The "Titanic" star had interviewed Clinton while he was being shown round the White House, with a view to recommending ways to make the mansion more environmentally friendly. Leo was supposed to have grilled the President on his governmentīs contribution, but their 20-minute chat in the White House was edited down to just a two-minute segment on the 60-minute show "Planet Earth 2000".

As the President and the hearth-throb actor sat opposite each other on the patio of the White House, Mr. Clinton told Leonardo that environmental concerns were just as important to him as education and health care. "Just by changing the lighting in this building we lowered our electricity bills by $100.000 a year," the President told Leo.

Washington journalists had been annoyed that the interview was conducted not by a top political reporter but by a 25-year-old actor who, although commited to environmental issues since he filmed "The Beach", was a stranger to the world of hard political reporting.

Still in Washington and still wearing his īSave the Environmentī hat, Leonardo led a star-studded celebration marking the 30th anniversary of Earth Day on Easter Saturday.

"Ever since I was a kid, environmental issues have sparked my interest," Leonardo, who was chairman and host of the event, told the large crowd of supporters who had gathered under cloudy skies. "The truth is, our planetīs alarm is now going off and itīs time to wake up and take action."