Despite being one of the most famous actors on the planet, Leonardo DiCaprio has always been incredibly private when it comes to his personal life.
He got his two breakout roles at 19 years old in This Boy’s Life and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, which were both released in 1993 — and the latter earned him an Oscar nomination.
However, it was in 1997 that he reached new levels of fame thanks to his performance as Jack Dawson in Titanic. This movie secured Leonardo’s spot as one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood, and he has maintained the peaks of that success ever since.
Now 49 years old, Leo has a decades-long reputation for how guarded he is about his private life, and it is incredibly rare for him to give any interviews. If he does agree to speak to the media, then it is almost always with his movie costars in tow and the focus of the interview remains firmly on Leo’s work.
However, this doesn’t mean that Leo’s name isn’t in the headlines for other reasons, with the star’s love life often being at the center of a whole load of discourse.
In case you didn’t know, Leonardo often comes under scrutiny for how young the women he dates are, with there being a running social media joke about the fact that he often breaks up with his girlfriends soon after their 25th birthday.
He is currently dating Italian model Vittoria Ceretti, and has previously been linked to other high-profile names such as Gigi Hadid. In addition to his love life, Leo is regularly photographed by the paparazzi while out and about, and in 2014 he was subjected to mass ridicule after he was filmed dancing awkwardly at Coachella.
Now, in a new interview, Leonardo made the uncharacteristic decision to reflect on “the complete loss” of his private life amid his rise to fame. The star seemingly only agreed to the interview with British publication the Observer in a bid to support his Killers of the Flower Moon costar Lily Gladstone, who made history as the first indigenous woman to win a Golden Globe on Sunday night.
And in the piece, it is apparent that Leo was keen for Lily to take the lead during the interview, with the actor being described as “careful not to interrupt” his costar while she discussed the importance of their movie.
But toward the end of the conversation, the reporter asked Leonardo directly if he ever gets “bothered by press interest in his personal life,” and the star did not hold back as he gave an incredibly well thought out response that highlighted the immense gratitude that he still has for his career after more than 30 years in the industry.
“As far as my personal life is concerned, my answer is pretty simple,” Leo began. “I got into this industry at a very young age. I felt incredibly compelled to do this. And the irony is that I was born and raised in Hollywood. People think: ‘Oh, OK, just add water’, right? But I tried to become an actor multiple times and I got rejected.”
“And at 12 or 13 years old, one of those agents said: ‘OK, we’ll give you a shot.’ Since then, it’s felt like winning the lottery. And to be honest, I would have been happy doing any sort of acting jobs – commercials, television,” he went on. “I got the one opportunity doing This Boy’s Life with Robert De Niro. I watched his work, realized the caliber of actor that he was and said to myself: ‘I will never squander this opportunity.’”
“So since then, a lot of other stuff comes hand in hand with that,” Leo continued. “The complete loss of your private life. And you know what, a lot of people have to deal with a lot harsher things than having their private life be public knowledge. That’s just one of the byproducts.”
He then concluded: “I feel too lucky to do what I do to sit here and complain about it. It’s just one of the things you have to accept and you adapt.”
Later in the interview, Lily gave readers even more insight into the “real” Leo when asked what her favorite thing about her costar is. She said: “I’ve said it several times and it’s honestly the best compliment I can give somebody; he’s such a nerd! He gets so invested in everything he cares about. And he cares so deeply. He is humble about it, but it’s intriguing and awesome to see how excited and invested he gets in things.”
And Leo further exposed himself when sharing what the “best thing” about Lily is, admitting that he is always keeping an eye on “the little things” when observing other people. He explained: “I think she’s a good person. I notice small things in people, and look, she does a lot of amazing activism.”
“She’s great – I don’t want to get too deep into it – great to her family, great to her community,” he added. “She’s a sort of scholar in a lot of ways of her own history. But I always watch the little things and she’s consistently an incredibly gracious and nice person to everybody.”
And I don’t know about you, but I feel like this is the most insight that I’ve had into the real Leonardo DiCaprio in a very long time.