“He’s one of the great directors — 1,000 years from now you’ll be talking about his movies. [On Catch Me If You Can], he said, ‘Experiment with him. Shape this character.’ Steven Spielberg is saying this to me. He’s a legend, and still one of the most kind, generous, good-hearted human beings on the planet. You just never want to be on his bad side.”
Leonardo DiCaprio talks about his experiences shooting Catch Me If You Can with Spielberg.
It’s common knowledge that Spielberg had to fight to persuade Daniel Day-Lewis to accept the title role in Lincoln, but it seems the director may have had a little help - from Leonardo DiCaprio.
The actor, who played conman Frank Abagnale in Spielberg’s 2002 film Catch Me If You Can, also appeared with Day-Lewis in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and, according to Spielberg, he proved a persuasive influence on his former co-star.
Spielberg told USA Today: “Leo DiCaprio was at my house for dinner one night. It was just myself, my wife [Kate Capshaw] and Leo. And he says, ‘Hey, what’s going on with your Lincoln project?’ I told him the sad story. I had one shot at Daniel and he had declined. And that was that. Leo just listened.
“The next morning he called me at my office. He said, ‘Here’s Daniel’s cellphone number, he’s expecting your call.’ Leo has never told me to this day what he said to Daniel. But that began this wonderful journey.”