Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, 16, Bop: these tween rags introduced us to all our first crushes. Every Tuesday, we remember the dudes that decorated our photo binders. This week, we reflect on the spectacular early career of one Leonardo DiCaprio.
Name: Leonardo DiCaprio
We Called Him: Leo!
How Old Is He Now? 38 (Born November 11, 1974)
Claims to Fame: Growing Pains, then This Boy's Life, then What's Eating Gilbert Grape, then The Basketball Diaries… then Romeo + Juliet and Titanic made him absolutely legendary. Now it's being a fancy-schmancy award-winner or whatever.
Why We Loved Him: Now, Leo's 38 and is a Serious Actor With Serious Roles, but it's hard to forget the time when "Leonardo DiCaprio" was synonymous with "OUCH MY HORMONES." Dude was like, almost Bieber-level. Maybe bigger.
You can even ask Amanda Bynes about how fine Leo was.
Look at him!
We're dying. Those eyeballs!
Truth is, Leo could always act. What's Eating Gilbert Grape is an amazing film, and an early showcase for both Leo, who played a developmentally-disabled boy, and Johnny Depp, who played his older brother.
Eventually, casting directors started to realize his SUPER DREAMY potential. He got cast in these roles as the loyal, brooding loverboy from the other side of the tracks, whether in Leo's first first foray into the world of Great Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann, Romeo + Juliet…
(Leo was so much better for Claire Danes than Jordan Catalano, you guys, even if this plot turned out very poorly.)
… or Titanic. Which gives us a lot of feelings.
After we were already in love with him, he starred in shirtless-Leo-vehicle The Beach, which got mixed reviews. Okay, kind of terrible reviews. But nothing negative was said about his chest.
What’s He Up To Now: There was never really a Leonardo DiCaprio gap. While his heartthrob reputation raised some non-believers' eyebrows when he started starring in Scorsese films, but eventually we all got used to it.
The sort of role he got cast in definitely changed, though. While Jay Gatsby is a little closer to his previous style (smart, beautiful outcast that is obsessed with you), Calvin Candie, J. Edgar Hoover, and Jordan Belfort are far cries from Jack Dawson.
Still, the dude has chosen his film roles super-carefully, and crushes it pretty much every time he's onscreen. Good for you, Leo! You kept it together.