Leonardo Dicaprio Shares Details Behind Growing up in Los Angeles — ‘We Moved Into the Mecca of Prostitution and Drug Addicts’

Leonardo DiCaprio may be Hollywood’s mainstay now, but things weren’t always so peachy for the Oscar-winning actor.

Believe it or not, the native LA originally became very humble, growing up in one of the most remote areas of the city. Despite the circumstances, DiCaprio believed that his birth position gave him a major advantage with his acting career.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a native of LA, which is rare for actors

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio | ROBYN BECK / AFP through Getty Images

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While countless actors and entertainers move to LA to start their careers or after some success, not many of them are from the city. DiCaprio is not one of them, as he is one of the few people born in the city. In an interview with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, he shared a few details about childhood in Tinseltown.

“I was born in Cedars-Sinai, which is now the center of Scientology, the old one on Sunset Boulevard,” Dicaprio said. “And uh, I grew up in, uh in, Hollywood and Western, which is kind of a well-documented area because it was, uh, Bukowski’s safe haven where he would move around and write. . My dad would also take me around in a crib and run into Bukowski. ”

Leonardo DiCaprio spent his youngest years in a rough LA neighborhood

Although DiCaprio now lives in the swanky Hollywood estate, his early years were not so nice. His parents had moved to LA from New York shortly before he was born and they did not have a ton of money, and as a result DiCaprio spent his younger years in a more arid area of ​​LA.

“It was very similar – my parents came from New York and had this postcard image of a utopian Los Angeles in Hollywood, and then we moved into a mecca of prostitution and drug addicts,” DiCaprio continued . “That’s when I grew up, and then, later, I moved to Silver Lake and Los Feliz for a long time after that. But um, yeah, I was always – I was – I’m from LA, I was born and raised here. … ”

Growing up in LA Leonardo DiCaprio benefited from his acting career

Even though DiCaprio could have lived in a less strong part of LA, his live position worked to his advantage. Being close to the entertainment industry gave him more opportunities to break into acting, despite the difficulties he had making business connections.

“… As I’ve said many times before, I never felt part of the uh, Hollywood system,” DiCaprio said. “I always felt like this strange stranger. And I think if it wasn’t for the fact that I had a mother who took a long time to listen to a child who said, you know ‘I want to do this for a living, this is what I know what I want to do, this is my commitment ‘- you know, a 10 – year – old child – if it didn’t make me go to near misses – go to a school that accepted me in Beverly Hills, and then being able to drive to a valley, or drive to, you know, Hollywood on the way back from school, I probably wouldn’t do this for a living . Because um, you know if I lived anywhere else I don’t think my dream would have been possible. ”

While an actor with exceptional talent such as DiCaprio would be likely to succeed wherever he was born, he acknowledged that fortune and preparation have certainly helped him achieve greatness.

“Well, you know, I think – in fact, I think, you know, it’s a combination of, you know, being in the right place at the right time, and being be ready for it, and be aggressive about it, and stick to it, you know… ”

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