Leonardo DiCaprio as an adult is a heartthrob, a smooth talker, a romancer of supermodels. Leonardo DiCaprio as a teenager was so nervous around girls that he turned to his “Growing Pains” co-star Alan Thicke for flirting advice.
“He said, ‘How do I get her number?’ ” Thicke recalls two decades later, remembering when 17-year-old DiCaprio had a crush on a cute extra. The veteran actor told DiCaprio to look in the wardrobe department, where everyone’s contact information was posted on a wall. “I’m sure he feels he owes most of his adult social life to that tip.”
Eventually “Titanic” came along in 1997 and hordes of teen girls made repeated trips to the multiplex to gaze into Leo’s piercing blue eyes and sob when Kate Winslet said “I’ll never let go, Jack!” But those who knew him before “Titanic” say he worked hard to retain his grasp on normalcy while on the cusp of fame. It wasn’t always easy.
Although DiCaprio was shy and kept to himself, he was no angel. He loved to mess around on set and make fun of his co-stars. “He was totally mischievous,” a former supporting actor claimed. DiCaprio’s good friend, actor Tobey Maguire, used to come by the set: “They looked like they were really up to no good.”
DiCaprio eventually grew out of his dorky teenage ways, and became the desire of almost every women on the planet.
Almost 20 years later, with four more Academy Awards acting nominations under his belt and finally winning his first award, most of DiCaprio’s former co-workers aren’t surprised to see his success.