Could you see it? That little boy in Star Wars Episode I almost grew up to be Leonardo DiCaprio, instead of Hayden Christensen. So, why did Leo turn it down?
Hey maybe then he would have won an Oscar?! Leonardo DiCaprio revealed a ton in a new interview about some of the biggest moves in Hollywood, that he turned down the lead in! Naturally, Star Wars is quite the buzz right now, so we totally freaked out when he revealed that he met with George Lucas — and turned down the part of Anakin!
“I did have a meeting with George Lucas about that, yes,” Leo, 41, said in a new interview with ShortList. When asked if he just “didn’t fancy” the role — he answered, “Exactly.” He cleared it up a little adding, “[I] just didn’t feel ready to take that dive. At that point.” The role of Skywalker eventually went to Hayden Christensen. The Star Wars franchise may have been much different if Leo had gone with it. The Phantom Menace began filming in June 1997 which of course was a huge time for Leo — Romeo + Juliet came out in Nov. ’96, and Titanic came out in Nov. ’97.
Hayden actually didn’t act much after Star Wars prequels and he just revealed that it was because he felt that role was “a little too handed to me,” and he didn’t “want to go through life feeling like I was just riding a wave.” Well, that’s good wave to ride! There are reports that Anakin was supposed to appear in The Force Awakens — as Darth Vader to Kylo Ren, or as Anakin Skywalker to Rey or Luke — but it’s not revealed why that didn’t happen.
As for Leo, well there were a lot of huge roles he turned down, including Robin in Batman Forever (“As I recall I took the meeting, but didn’t want to play the role. Joel Schumacher is a very talented director but I don’t think I was ready for anything like that”); and Peter Parker in Spider-Man (“Er, that was another one of those situations, similar to Robin, where I didn’t feel ready to put on that suit yet. They got in touch with me”).
Playing a super hero is actually one of the few things that Leo has never done — but never say never. “You never know. You never know. They’re getting better and better as far as complex characters in these movies,” he said. “I haven’t yet. But no, I don’t rule out anything.”
Do you wish Leo had played Anakin? Let us know!