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Growing up, Leonardo DiCaprio’s neighborhood had “a major prostitution ring on my street corner, crime and violence everywhere,” The Wolf of Wall Street star told the LA Times.
“It really was like Taxi Driver in a lot of ways…I grew up very poor and I got to see the other side of the spectrum.”
Heroin and crack addicts filled the alleyway near his house and DiCaprio claims it turned him off drugs forever.
“Never done [drugs],” he told the paper. “That’s because I saw this stuff literally every day when I was 3 or 4 years old. So Hollywood was a walk in the park for me … I’d go to parties and it was there, and yeah, there’s that temptation.”
DiCaprio’s step-brother Adam Farrar fell victim to that very temptation and was recently arrested for possession of a dangerous drug, theft, and harassment by phone.
DiCaprio says that acting was a way out of a life filled with drugs and crime, especially after being beat up at school.
“That was the motivational thing that happened to me in my life. I was 15, and I said to my mom, ‘I want to be an actor. Please take me to auditions.’ Because I had to get out of the public school system.”