"I realize I am contradicting everything I've said before," admits the star

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 01, 2008 09:45 AM
Credit: Tony Barson/WireImage

Once the poster child against romance – professing he feels “few emotions,” has “never been in love” and “does not believe in marriage” – Leonardo DiCaprio is now singing a different tune.

“I want to get married and have children,” the star of the upcoming Body of Lies and Revolutionary Road, 33, tells Parade. “In saying that, I realize I am contradicting everything I’ve said before. I absolutely believe in marriage.”

Linked for the past two years with 23-year-old Israeli model Bar Refaeli – in a relationship that has run both hot and cold – DiCaprio says, “What I definitely feel a need for is to make my life about more than just my career. Just last night I was thinking to myself how little of my life has been lived normally and not spent on some far-off movie location.”

As for his declarations of the past – and shooting an arrow through Cupid’s heart – he says, “No, I don’t agree with any of that. It sounds like the ignorance of youth to me. When did I say that? Three or four years ago? Hey, we grow up real fast.”

Looking for Love

A one-time child model and actor (Growing Pains), DiCaprio says, “My parents never tried to steer me in any direction. I wanted to be an actor, but I never thought it was a real possibility, ever. I thought I’d be a marine biologist, because nature and evolution fascinated me.”

His reason for entering the profession, he admits, was because “[w]e’re all after love, aren’t we? Love is what people are hungry for. That’s absolutely why I became an actor.”

And, having starred in the most successful box-office hit of all time, 1997’s Titanic, a reflective DiCaprio (who is also lamenting the recent loss of his beloved grandmother, Oma), says, “I do appreciate it. I know how lucky I am.”

He adds, “I hope I never get cynical. I think you need youthful energy, excitement and optimism in life. There is a lot I want to do, and the more cynical you become, the more you sit on your butt and do nothing.”

Emphasizing what he finds important, DiCaprio lists family and environment, then says, “What I want is to be known as someone who stood for something.”