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ESSAY

Tots and Toys

THIS FALL I INTERVIEWED Leonardo DiCaprio for Detour magazine as part of his publicity junket for Romeo and Juliet. To talk to him, you have to go through an elaborate screening process. His PR people want to see your clippings, and they want to know exactly what you plan to do with their client. Ever since DiCaprio decided a few years ago to avoid high-profile roles in mainstream films, and instead take controversial roles in smaller, artsy films like The Basketball Diaries and Total Eclipse, gossip columnists have been questioning his mental health, his sexuality, and his drug habits in print. According to what I’d heard and read, DiCaprio was a junkie, a cokehead, a closeted queer, a Scientologist, and I forget what else. Consequently, he’s gotten a little gun-shy. I won the gig by promising to print our conversation, period. I wouldn’t put a spin on his behavior, mood, facial expressions,

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