Baz Luhrmann On The Real Reason He Cast Leo As Romeo

leonardo dicaprio

by Elizabeth Bennett |

Speaking to Elvis Duran on iHeart Radio, director Baz Luhrmann revealed how he chose Leonardo DiCaprio for iconic part of Romeo in his 1996 adaptation of classic Shakespearean tragedy.

'When I saw Leonardo I thought, god, that's how he should look but can he act?' Luhrmann said of the moment he auditioned DiCaprio for the protagonist part. 'Then I found out he was the preeminent young actor."

'He came down to Australia and he brought all these friends and we made a whole video of the show with other actors,' he recalled of DiCaprio's audition. 'I won't say who, it will never be seen, I realised that I couldn't make it without him.'

leonardo dicaprio

Luhrmann also spoke about how DiCaprio was not quick to accept the part, and in fact took his time to mull over the decision.

'Leo is never easy about deciding to do anything,' the director told Duran.

'But honestly, I admire him for that because the thing about Leonardo, I mean he's a friend, our families are friends, is that he looks for joy in life, but when it comes to two things, acting and the environment, he just doesn't take it lightly.'

And it seems nothing changes. Duran ran into similar problems when he wanted to work with the Oscar winning actor on his 2012 adaptation of Great Gatsby.

'He doesn't make those decisions lightly, and he put me through the hoops in a really good way,' he said of casting DiCaprio in the role. 'It really was about working with Leonardo again and we were always trying to think of something to do and I had to wear him down.'

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