In celebration of Leo’s big win at the Oscars, here’s a repost of my favorite memory of him.
I’m a big fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s atmospheric novel “The Great Gatsby”, the stage adaptation, and the movie starring Robert Redford (cue heavy sigh) and Mia Farrow. I’m also a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio. I’m very excited to see him star as the mysterious Jay Gatsby in the new version of the film. I knew the kid would be a star someday.
In fact, I predicted it. In my head. While looking him in the eye.
This happened way back in the olden days. 1992 to be exact. I was in Mount Vernon, Washington working on costumes for the movie “This Boy’s Life”, which stars, along with Leo, Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin. I have lots of fun memories from that experience, but one of my favorites came at the tail end of my very last day on the set. It had been one of those on-the-set-at-five-AM days, and they had shot the scene where Leo and the boys play basketball. Those kids ran up and down the court about 3000 times, and I was worn out just watching them. By midnight, we had wrapped for the day and gone back to the hotel. The cast and much of the crew would be moving on to continue filming in Utah the following day, but we locals were done and headed home.
So, I was standing outside the hotel saying goodbye to my costume co-workers when a couple of teens bopped out of the hotel lobby, looking like they were ready to hit the town. One of them bounced over to me and said, and I quote, “What time is it?” I looked over at him and realized it was the kid from the movie. That kid who, at the time, was known for his role on TV’s “Growing Pains”. Leonardo DiCaprio, who was seventeen but looked about twelve.
I thought, Wow, he should be exhausted, followed quickly by, He’s going to be a big star someday and he’s talking to me.
Thanks, Leo, for not letting me down!
I love incorporating my theatre and movie memories into my fiction. Both “Lights, Cowboy, Action” and “Saving Grace” have elements of my personal experiences woven into them. I hope my love for my work shines through when I write!
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