By Rachel F. Elson
Updated November 20, 2002 12:00 PM

Let it not be said that Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t see the world clearly.

When pressed by TV talker Barbara Walters to explain what his early rise to stardom had taught him about success, DiCaprio first told her “not much,” then explained: “I think ultimately success is good. Failure not so good …”

Oh. Glad he cleared that up.

The interview with Walters is slated to run on “20/20” on Friday, says gossip columnist Liz Smith, who notes that the TV sit-down will be the first for DiCaprio, now 28, since 1997. DiCaprio has two new films coming soon, both with high-profile directors — Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can” and Martin Scorsese’s long-anticipated “Gangs of New York” — and he shared the Walters interview with Spielberg and “Catch Me” costar Tom Hanks.

DiCaprio rocketed to mega-heartthrob status with the blockbuster success of 1997’s “Titanic” after a series of critically acclaimed films, including “Romeo + Juliet” (1996), “The Basketball Diaries” (1995) and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993). In his chat with Walters, however, he sounds decidedly ambivalent about fame’s benefits.

“There’s no handbook for fame,” he tells Walters, griping about how the media sometimes covers him. “But on that same token, I’m not at all going to sit here and say that I’m not completely grateful and feel completely blessed for everything that’s happened in my career.”