My mom, Irmelin, taught me the value of life. Her own life was saved by my grandmother during World War II.
I've always been spontaneous and outgoing... I've tried lots of things so I've got some good life experiences, which is great 'cause it means I've got lots of material to work with as an actor.
I did imitations of anyone who came to my parents' house, and that was my identity at school - if there were ten minutes to lunch, and the teacher was done with the lesson, he'd say, 'Okay, Leo, get up there and do something.'
I've been very lucky to have achieved a lot of the things that I dreamt of achieving as a young man. But, at the end of the day - and I truly believe this - it is not about achieving great wealth or success. Because they don't bring happiness, ultimately.
I realise that I do not change the course of history. I am an actor, I do a movie, that's the end of it. You have to realise we are just clowns for hire. After I had success it was great, at first, not to worry about money. It was on my mind when I was growing up.
I get unhappy doing things that I'm not passionate about. Because I feel like I'm squandering this incredible gift I've been given to finance films. As soon as my name alone was enough to make this happen, I vowed to myself that I was going to work with directors who were changing cinema, doing something important, you know?
I took some time off after 'Titanic' because I needed to let the dust settle and recharge my battery. I felt, 'OK, you've been given a tremendous opportunity; what are you going to do with it? Now your name can finance movies that you do want to do.'
I get a friend to travel with me... I need somebody to bring me back to who I am. It's hard to be alone.
I grew up when I was 15 when I had my first opportunity in movies. I watched every great movie for a year and a half, and since then I've asked myself how I can emulate such artistry. That's really my motivation. I want to do something as good as my heroes have done.
I really hate relaxing. I've done three movies in a row, worked for two years straight, and to me, idle time is the devil's workshop. I like to focus on something.
My parents know I was outgoing as a child, and whenever people came over, I'd automatically do impressions of them as soon as they left; it was my mom's favorite thing. Yes, I grew up in Hollywood, but not in any rich neighborhood.
I prefer ordinary girls - you know, college students, waitresses, that sort of thing. Most of the girls I go out with are just good friends. Just because I go out to the cinema with a girl, it doesn't mean we are dating.
I've never been Romeo who meets a girl and falls for her immediately. It's been a much slower process for me each time I've gone into a relationship.
I am completely open to doing a romantic comedy, but I will never do something just for the sake of doing a specific genre or because it's the time or place to do a different type of movie. I think that would be a huge mistake.
I've never tried to reach a certain demographic of an audience or try to say, 'OK, now I'm going to do this type of film to transition myself into more adult roles.' Or a romantic hero. Or whatever it may be - you know what I mean?
As a young boy, I was obsessed with endangered species and the extinct species that men killed off. Biology was the subject in school that I was incredibly passionate about.
The best thing about acting is that I get to lose myself in another character and actually get paid for it... It's a great outlet. I'm not really sure who I am - it seems I change every day.