DiCaprio Puts Diamond Industry on Edge

So, of course it's always great to do a movie that you find that is entertaining, but also can give some sort of political or social message, and I felt this movie did that. As far as growing up? What can I say?

I have to be honest, I've never thought of that ever in the entire course of my career about choosing a specific role because it would make me seem more manlike. . . . Even with roles like "Catch Me If You Can," I was eight years, ten years, older than the character I portrayed. It was an interesting character, and I knew, as well, you know, I could be playing a character like that . . .

Q: Leo, I want to know, being in contact with Africa and the poverty and the children soldiers, how did that affect you?

DICAPRIO: Well, you know, certainly, for me, playing a character like this, like I said, who was one taking advantage of the poverty around him, taking advantage of the continent, posed for a lot of, you know, what's the word, uncomfortable situations, as an actor, to portray this man on set amongst an African crew, you know, in locations like Mozambique, where there was a tremendous amount of poverty.

I mean, Mozambique is a country right now who's having a sort of economic resurgence. But still, you know, 4 out of 10 people supposedly have HIV or AIDS. There's astounding conditions. But what I, what I was left with after spending time with Africa, and this is not at all to sound trivial, but it is, it is, it really was the power of the human spirit there, and the fact that these people had been through so much.

They'd been through a civil war for 30 years, the poverty rate, but literally, people were still dancing in the streets. I mean, the joy and the energy and the happiness they exuded to everyone that came in contact with them was unbelievable, and it made me come back home and sort of not want to listen to anyone's problems, you know? I don't want to hear about what we as Americans have to deal with. When you're immersed in a place like that for 6 months and you see the extreme levels of what people have to deal with there, and what their lives are like, and yet they're able to keep a positive attitude. . . I just don't want to hear people's problems out here anymore.

Q: How was it doing scenes with Djimon?

DICAPRIO: You know, his character really is the heart and soul of the movie, you know: the story of a man trying to find his son. And he embodied this character and he -- the word is electrifying, the intensity he gives in this performance. And uh, what can I say?

He and I were kind of alone on set, it was me and him and there's no other actor that could have given this performance. I mean he's astounding in this movie, and the intensity and energy you get off him as an actor, is just -- you got to play off each other everyday. And it was... He's, he's, he's a, quite a brilliant actor. Djimon and I would sit there and talk to each other about the different types of hot chocolates you can get in Paris, and croissants and penechocolats, and we'd sit there and dream like two weird women, pastries and...

Q: Any injuries?

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