Though he may have mellowed at age 39, Leonardo DiCaprio once had a reputation as one of Hollywood’s most hardcore partyers. But though his taste for alcohol, at least earlier in his career as one of the film industry’s top movie stars, has been well-documented, DiCaprio claims that he has never taken drugs.
Leonardo Dicaprio, who spent his childhood in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Hollywood and Silver Lake, made the claim in a Los Angeles Times interview about a week ago. But following the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent overdose of heroin, there has suddenly been a resurgence of interest in the narcotics-consumption habits of the rich and famous.
DiCaprio says that he never gave in to the temptation of drugs, because he grew up in a drug-ridden Los Angeles neighborhood and was convinced at an early age that drugs were a destructive force.
“I saw this stuff literally every day when I was 3 or 4 years old,” said Leonardo DiCaprio. “So Hollywood was a walk in the park for me. I’d go to parties and it was there and, yeah, there’s that temptation. Hollywood is a very volatile place where artists come in and they essentially say they want to belong.”
In the late 1990s, following the massive success of Titanic in which Leonardo DiCaprio starred and which, though he was already an established star in Hollywood, catapulted him to the highest levels of fame, the young actor was frequently spotted in the bars and clubs of New York City, accompanied by a group of acolytes who were dubbed by their Hollywood contemporaries, “The Pussy Posse.”
“He hits Manhattan clubs… and brawls with the locals,” wrote Rolling Stone, of Leonardo DiCaprio’s antics at the time.
Gossip columnist Liz Smith wrote, “He seldom sleeps, so intense is his partying.”
And yet, Leonardo DiCaprio insists that drugs were never an element of his party scene, even during those heady days.
So how did DiCaprio pull off his Oscar-nominated performance as perpetually high multimillionaire drug addict Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, in momants such as this one?
An on-set drug consultant helped, Leonardo DiCaprio says. As did repeated viewings of the popular YouTube clip, “Drunkest Guy In The World.”
The Wolf of Wall Street is not the first Leonardo DiCaprio drug addict role. Early in his career he portrayed the late poet and singer Jim Carroll in a film adaptation of Carroll’s addiction memoir, The Basketball Diaries.