If anyone could make Shakespeare the stuff of hot-blooded fantasy, LEONARDO DiCAPRlO could - with the help of maverick Australian director


Romeo And Juliet with its shirt unbuttoned to the navel.

Words: Alan Morrison

6 THELIST an: m;

lT'S A STORY of passion. of family jealousies. of beautiful people surrendering to forbidan desires. The title of the tale? Not ll’i/liam .S'liakespeareis Romeo And Juliet, but the National Enquirer-s ‘Demi Spends Night With Young l-lunk’. an early March scandal piece based on whispers of a night-time stopover by actor Leonardo DiCaprio at Demi Moore‘s holiday home.

No sooner had this drama of star—cross'd lovers hit the tabloids than Ms Moore was back at the side of husband Bruce Willis. For the ‘young hunk‘ in question. it was further proof that Hollywood‘s hottest young male star lives as sizzling a life off screen as on.

DiCaprio. who turned 22 last November. is used to being scrutinised by gossip column writers and top critics. He was thrust into the spotlight four years ago when he went round for round with Robert De Niro in Scottish director Michael (‘aton Jones‘s This Roy's Lilia (iolden (ilobe and Oscar nominations followed for his meticulously detailed performance as Johnny Depp's retarded brother in ll’ltal's liming Gilbert (Ira/uh". and te also acquitted himself as a junkie schoolkid in The liaskwi/m/l Diaries. It wasn‘t. however. until Strict/y [fa/[room director Bax Luhrmann chose him to play the male lead in his fast and furious version of Romeo And .ln/ie! that l)i(’.1prio translated critical kudos into box office dollars.

'()ur Romeo .-ln(/ Julie! is a little more hard-core and a lot cooler.‘ the young actor recently told the American edition of Prwmere maga/ine. ‘I wouldn‘t have done it if I’d had tojttntp around in tights. If you really study it. you see that Romeo was, like. a gigolo who falls for this girl. Juliet. who says. "Look. if you’ve got the balls. put ‘em on the table." It‘s about those things that carry you in a certain direction and you can't stop; like when people rim off to Vegas and get married.‘