(Thanks to Cosmopolitan Magazine, July 1999)
If you're at all, like the rest of us, renting Titanic just doesn't count as enough of a Leo fix to make up for the long months that the mega-hunk has been off the radar screen. So where has Hollywood's hottest heartthrob been hiding since he went down with the luxury liner? Short of a blinkand you'll miss him role in Woody Allen's Celebrity last falloh yeah, and that Iron Mask movie where he doubles our pleasure by playing twinsLeo's been doing what most normal 24-year-old males do: party-hopping with his pals, getting his romantic life on track, and taking in the Star Wars craze. Cosmo's been on his tail, and we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what our favorite babe's been up to.
When the Partying Went Too Far
After all of the box-office records were broken, the money was make, and the big boat headed to Blockbuster, it was time for Leo to take a break, and that's just what he did. During his year off before beginning his shoot in Thailand for the upcoming The Beach, Leo spent time living it up at such favorite New York City hot spots as Lot 61, B Bar, and Moomba with friends like mind-bending magician David Blaine, actors Lukas Haas and Tobey McGuire, and freaky Gummo filmmaker Harmony Korine. And why shouldn't he? His posse of friends seems to take care of everything from making the reservations to holding his money (literally).
"Leo wants a place where his privacy won't be compromised," says Jeffery Jah, a promotions director at the downtown New York club Life." At Life, he knows there's always a table for him. There's always a VIP room with people like Mariah Carey, Puff Daddy, and Janet Jackson. Plus, no photographers are allowed inside." And that's probably a good thing, considering that at times, the fun goes beyond just hanging out and having a couple of vodka and pineapple juices (Leo's cocktail of choice).
Take the night last year when Leo and his friends are dining at Asia De Cuba in NYC. Once of the guys in the group had been begging actress Elizabeth Berley (Showgirls) to join them for dinner. After she refused several times by phone, Berkley's live-in boyfriend, actor screenwriter Roger Wilson, went to the restaurant to defend his love. Before anyone knew it, Wilson and the whole Leo gang took the matter outside. But as soon as the first punch was thrown, the publicity-savvy posse hightailed it back insidethey knew any Leo-related skirmish could wind up in the tabloids. (Leo and his pals were broadsided a few months ago with a $45 million lawsuit from Wilson for his injuries. DiCaprio's lawyers expect full vindication).
It became clear that things were getting out of control in New York City and a change was needed. The West Coast was poised to take over and show DiCaprio and crew a good time. At Hollywood's Mondrain Hotel, room service has a standing order to keep Leo and lads fully stocked, with Marlboro Lights, beer, and Ding Dongs.
Girls, Girls, Girls
Of course, no young male entourage would be complete without a bevy of supermodel beauties. "I've seen women crumble around him," Jah admits. "I've seen supermodels go nuts." How busy in bed has Leo Been? For every, woman that he supposedly has been with, there are at least two others who claim to have been with him. Last year, there was a report in a London tabloid saying that Leo took supermodel Bridget Hall's virginity (the two were seen together a lot in 1994 and 1995). DiCaprio's people said they were unaware of a sexual relationship, while Hall's people said, "This is so, so not true."
But some of the models have their own agenda. Says one friend of Leo's, "one night, we were at a club. Leo talked with a young blond model for maybe 15 minutes, and that was ithe never even kissed her. The next day, her photo was in the papers as 'Leo's latest conquest.' You know the model just left the club and phoned her agent who sent her photo out."
Most recently, there were reports that Leonardohalf a world away in Thailand, filming The Beachimpregnated his gorgeous costar, Virginie Ledoyen. Again, DiCaprio's camp denied allegations.
If Leo was miffed by these rumors, so too, no doubt, was his girlfriend, swimsuit model Kristen Zang, 24. The couple, who started dating again last fall after a two-year break, is said to be strong now. But not without a struggle. The two dated before DiCaprio boarded the Titanic project, but Zang broke it off, saying he needed to grow up. No stranger to heartache herself, she's being extra careful not to get hurt. (She dated Nicolas Cage and he took her to the 1995 Oscars, only to marry Patricia Arquette a week later.)
Friends of Zang claim she is insisting Leo stop his night-crawling and spend more time with her. At first, it seemed he wouldn't. At his 24th birthday bash in Los Angeles last November, "it was like a harem, with dozens of girls brought in," said one of Zang's friends. "Kristen hates that kind of scene." She bolted from the fete, and now her Rules tactics seem to be paying off. When Leo was in Thailand, according to Zang's stepfather, Richard Rollins, "[he] rented am entire island [for her]. They are committed to each other."
Babe in Thailand
Despite his $20-million-a-movie paycheck, DiCaprio was no prima donna on the grueling four-month Thailand shoot, which began in January. He swam in jellyfish infested waters for hoursgetting stung but not complaining like most stars would. then, while filming a canoe scene, his boat capsized, forcing Leo and others into shark-filled waters, where DiCaprio helped some of his filmmates to safety.
Now The Beach is wrapped and Leo's back home in Los Angeles. He has Kristen affectionately in his arms, and he still has that boyish charm that we love so much. Indeed, we recently spotted him at midnight in front of Toys "R" Us in Santa Monica, in line to buy the new Star Wars toys the moment they went on sale.
But Leo's no doubt hoping for the anonymity he recently enjoyed on a plane flight back from the Bahamas. DiCaprio boarded with traditional Bahamian braided hair and slipped into his first-class seat. When he asked the flight attendant for a glass of wine, the man asked for some I.D. Leo pulled out his wallet and flashed his driver's license. He smiled to himself, happy to be a regular guy for a brief moment.