A scene in the film depicts him stark naked in his screening room, unable to face anybody and conducting a deranged experiment with bottles of his own urine."I think being obsessive-compulsive tied into his women, too," said Di Caprio."He was never able to stay with one woman because he looked on them like aeroplanes: he literally wanted to get the faster, sleeker aeroplane with the bigger turbines."Di Caprio's disorder is more likely to take the form of making him reluctant to step on cracks in the pavement or something similar, although he has little difficulty overcoming his urges.Undeterred, Di Caprio continues to choose his projects slowly and carefully, always seeking to expand his range and present himself with new challenges."Working with people like Martin Scorsese and watching classic old films that are really pieces of art, I want to make sure that if I'm going to invest my time and energy into something and give myself wholeheartedly to it, I want it to be something that lasts," he says thoughtfully. For me, the three elements that have to be there are: it has to be a great script, with a great director and great people to work with."For now he is happy to accumulate the millions of dollars that flood his way, living, if not frugally, at least not in the accustomed style of Hollywood stars.He owns one car, a Toyota Prius, and does not fly around in private jets.Di Caprio is being widely tipped for an Oscar nomination for his performance as Hughes, the eccentric tycoon who became a millionaire oilman, a successful filmmaker, a record-setting pilot, an aircraft designer and the founder of an international airline, before ending his life as an insane recluse, terrified of germs and the outside world.Hughes is a man who has fascinated Di Caprio since he read a biography of him eight years ago and mentioned it to the writer-director Michael Mann.There he was, in a South American rainforest, studying the effects of mercury poisoning in the Amazon, when he was confronted by a group of naked Indians.Although he has just turned 30, the boyishly handsome actor is resigned to the fact that he will always be linked to Titanic, the 1997 Oscar-winning film in which he and Kate Winslet played tragic lovers on the doomed ship."That film is a phenomenon," he says.
The first two, The Beach and The Man in the Iron Mask, were panned by the critics and the second two, Gangs of New York and Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, did not make the impression expected of them.
"It was immense and it's made so much money, but the fact that it's reached many different cultures is astounding to me.
I know that no matter what else I do, it's going to be with me and be a part of me for the rest of my life.
Rejected by a casting agent when he was 11, he tried again at 14 and landed an agent, who got him a toy commercial.
Supporting roles in television series followed, but his first film role in Critters 3 gave little hint of his potential.