Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hollywood Days - Leonardo diCaprio

Pin It Now! If you are new to my blog, on Wednesdays I post about my experience in Hollywood as a former child/teen actress. If you want to start at the beginning of these posts go here.
Leonardo diCaprio and I had an acting class together at the Young Actor's Space. I don't know what it's like today, but back then (early 90s) the Young Actor's Space was the premiere place for acting classes for youth. Especially working child actors - Kellie Martin (who was on Life Goes On at the time),

Chad Allen (who was on My Two Dads at the time),

Lindsay Price (not sure if she was on a show at this time, but later went on to star in All My Children and a hundred other things),

Heather Tom, and a bunch of other young actors are just a few of the actors who were in my classes. I think you kind of had to be invited or referred for certain classes. Kellie and Lindsay were the ones who introduced me to Diane Hardin and The Young Actor's Space.

The class I took with Leo was taught by a guy named Stan. Tobey Maguire was also in the class and they were best buds. At the time, Leo had not starred in any of his breakout roles. I think he was 15 years old and I was 14. But he looked and acted more like a 12 year old. He just seemed kind of like a typical, immature boy. He was nice enough, but not someone I could see myself hanging out with.

Definitely would have never envisioned him as the leading man or as any kind of a sex symbol. However, there was one girl in the class who had the biggest crush on him, which I thought was hilarious and could not even understand. At some point after our class together he landed a guest starring role on the show I was on, The New Lassie. However, I never saw him when he was on the show because we did not have any scenes together. Here's a clip from that episode:

About another year or so later I landed a guest starring role on his show, Growing Pains. I played a girl who had a crush on Ben, but he kept denying me. I was kind of nerdy - hair up in a bun, wore glasses, and stalked Ben. Then I connected with "Luke" (Leo's character) and my hair came down and my glasses came off and I got all confident and stood up for myself. You know the story - been recycled so many times on television. Then Ben got jealous that Luke and I hit it off and it caused tension in the Seaver clan.

In the end, I ended up asking Luke to the Sade Hawkins dance. Hilary Swank was also on the episode in a very small role. She and Leo were very good friends in real life.

What you wouldn't know from watching the episode is that Leo was really sick that week. He had some kind of flu bug and did not feel well at all. But he pushed through it and taped the show, acted professionally, and did a great job.

Although it is still weird for me to see Leonardo in a leading man role because I just picture him as a scrawny little kid, I think Leo is a phenomenal actor. One of my favorite movies is Blood Diamond.
Pin It Now!


Ruth said...

Love the post. How hilarious and yes, Leo is a wonderful "young" actor, versatile, with range. :)..

Ruth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth said...

oops. accidentally pushed the thingy twice..sorry :(..

{cuppakim} said...

i love hollywood wednesdays...but i love them even more when they include the leo lovin. ;)

i can't believe i'm only 1 degree separated from him now. :) Hahaha.

oh how i wish it was 1996 all over again. he was at his dreamy prime back then....with secure real estate on the ceiling above my bed. ;)

Nolie said...

I remember when I was like every other teenager and had the hugest crush on him. Still a good actor though the giant crush is gone.

Little Writer Momma said...

How fun! Alright, I have to ask...did you have any major crushes on any of those guys while you were doing your films!!! I mean we all had crushes from home WISHING we could be on set with them!

TDM Wendy said...

Ruth - yes, major range.
Kim - 1 degree baby. Are you using me to get to him? Cuz I haven't talked to him in years...
Nolie - I think you are younger than me.
Little Writer Momma - I have to say it was a dream come true. I had posters and crushes on several of the guys I ended up working with, meeting, and/or becoming friends with. Leo was not one of them, but I looooovvved Kirk Cameron at one point. By the time I worked with him on Growing Pains I was over him, but it was still fun.

Meghan said...

Fun post and umm I still have a crush on Leo ;)

Susie B. Homemaker said...

How fun to look back and see pictures and videos from those shows. I love the clothes, lol. ;p So I'm sure I need to read a post and look on your site some more- but why or when did you stop acting?