Why Leonardo DiCaprio Was Fired From A Children’s Show: ‘I’m Afraid I Deserved It’

Superstar Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar for his performance in the 2015 film The Revenant. Now known as a compelling actor with a wide range of roles, the Titanic star was actually dismissed from one of his earliest gigs.

Leonardo DiCaprio attends the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland
Leonardo DiCaprio | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Filming the ‘The Revenant’

Earning an Academy Award for his role as frontiersman Hugh Glass, The Revenant was set in the harsh conditions of the wilderness in 1823. Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu took the cast and crew to film in several parts of the world with extreme weather conditions.

“There was this one day in particular. The coldest I’ve ever felt in my life,” DiCaprio told Deadline in 2016. “I don’t know if the shot was even in the movie, because the camera wouldn’t work. I remember seeing everyone’s eyes kept blinking because their tears would freeze. It was something like 40 below. The eyes would water up and then freeze.”

DiCaprio revealed the stunt work in the film became a source of stress for fear of causing injury.

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“I enjoy doing them once you’re actually on set,” The Aviator star said of the stunts. “But they’re so nerve racking, because you never want to hurt other people, and there were so many people. And you don’t want to get hurt. It was so nerve racking, especially when you have bear furs on, and leather.”

Leonardo DiCaprio hits the big screen

Getting his start in commercials and the television sitcom Growing Pains, DiCaprio hit the big time when he landed the role of Toby in Michael Caton- Jones’ 1993 film This Boy’s Life with acting legend Robert DeNiro.

“I saw Michael Caton Jones recently in London,” DiCaprio recalled. “He said, ‘I’m sorry I was so mean to you when you were little.’ I said, ‘Are you crazy, you were the greatest big brother I could ever have during my first giant cinematic process… You talked me through everything… Like a little league coach, literally telling me how to run the bases, because I had no idea.”

Being his first foray into film, the The Departed actor admitted he was a bit rough around the edges at the time.

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“I was this kid that came from television and TV commercials, and I had no idea how to conduct myself on a set,” DiCaprio confessed. “I had no understanding when to…shut up. Like when you see Robert De Niro preparing, and I’d get a squeeze in the arm from Michael if I was telling too many jokes, or cracking up, or trying to converse with the crew members. He let me know, ‘An actor prepares, Leonardo.’ … He literally walked me through the process because I really was this wild child.”

Oscar winner gets fired from ‘Romper Room?’

The famous children’s show Romper Room aired from 1953 to 1994. Created for preschoolers, the program featured a small group of kids ages 4 to 6 playing games, singing songs, and learning lessons from the Romper Room hostess. The Academy Award winner recalled being on set to make his debut.

“I have very faint memories of it, but I remember my stepbrother had dabbled in acting when he was young,” DiCaprio told Deadline. “Romper Room was the big hit show, and there I was.”

Yet the now polished mega star was a tad unruly on the preschool program, causing producers to give DiCaprio his first pink slip.

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“I remember running up to the camera, looking into it, and slapping it. They had to sit me down multiple times,” the Catch Me If You Can actor revealed to Deadline. “And when the host said, ‘Hey, kids, it’s story time,’ I am screaming, at the top of my voice, ‘Yeaaah!’ And then they fired me. I’m afraid I deserved it. They had to kick me out.”

Clearly his rambunctious behavior didn’t affect DiCaprio’s eventual rise to stardom!