‘Romeo + Juliet:’ How Filming a Shirtless Scene With Leonardo DiCaprio Was One Way to Break the Ice Between Him and Claire Danes

Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio were an interesting and at times intense pairing on set. There have been several reports of the two fighting with each other over the years, whereas some others claim they were very fond of one another.

Danes, however, once personally shared what it was like filming with a much younger DiCaprio. And quipped how filming a shirtless scene in the Romeo + Juliet helped break the ice between them.

Why Baz Luhrman compared Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes to ‘two kids on holiday’

Leonardo DiCaprio looking at Claire Danes
Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AFI

In an interview with Heat (via Press Reader), Romeo + Juliet director Baz Luhrman touched on the complicated relationship between DiCaprio and Danes. Although he acknowledged there was some chemistry between them, he saw them more like siblings.

“There were arguments between Leonardo and Claire,” Luhrman said. “Sometimes they were like two kids on holiday.”

This might align with some reports that claimed sometimes Danes found DiCaprio too immature. Meanwhile, DiCaprio allegedly saw Danes as uptight. But it’s worth noting that neither Danes nor DiCpario has confirmed or denied these claims.

Why Claire Danes quipped filming a shirtless scene with Leonardo DiCaprio was one way to breeak the ice between them

Although Luhrman might have seen DiCaprio and Danes’ relationship as more akin to sibling rivalry, John Leguizamo’s opinion was slightly different. As their co-star, Leguizamo had a front-row seat to the interactions between DiCaprio and Danes.

“I think Leo and Claire had crushes on each other,” Leguizamo teased. “But they kept it all very professional. Nothing was ever done, and that’s great, because when you consummate an attraction, you defuse the tension on screen.”

After Leguizamo’s remark, Danes shared that their very first scene together in the movie was an intimate one. But she also quipped that this take might have only helped their new relationship.

“The first scene we filmed was the morning-after scene, where Romeo and Juliet had just made love,” Danes said. “So there we were, shirtless. It was one way to break the ice.”

The ice-breaking might have been needed since, initially, Danes and DiCaprio were a bit intimidated by each other.

“Leonardo is a wonderful person, complex and charismatic. He is a lot of other things, too. He knew which buttons to press. I think I was scared of him and he was scared of me, and that created a useful tension for the movie,” she added.

How Claire Daines impressed Leonardo DiCaprio in their ‘Romeo + Juliet’ audition

Leonardo DiCaprio auditioned with several hopeful actors who wanted to be Juliet. But ultimately, Danes impressed him more than anyone else he rehearsed with. Part of the reason was because of Danes’ maturity. But it was also due to a very subtle skill of being able to make eye-contact with DiCaprio.

“She was the only girl when we did the audition who came straight in my face to do the lines. She said them looking at me right in the eye,” DiCaprio told Entertainment Weekly. “And some of the other girls did, like, the affected flower thing. You know, they stroked their face and looked up and tried to do things with their eyelashes, and it was not nearly as truthful as Claire’s performance.”

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