High Flying Achiever
January 31, 2005

It was fan frenzy for Leonardo DiCaprio Sunday night at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, where believe it or not, the Oscar-nominated star was being honored with a Career Achievement Award at the tender age of 30. "Extra" was there as famed "Aviator" director Martin Scorsese presented DiCaprio with the award.

Jerry Penacoli: How shocking is this award?

Leonardo DiCaprio: It's very shocking. Very shocking, but I've been in the business for 14 years now. And to stand up there and talk about a body of work is extremely surreal because I feel like I'm just getting started.

JP: You are Scorsese's new De Niro.

LD: All I know is, at this point, the great Martin Scorsese and I have gotten to work together. We were attracted to the same material and we challenge each other, which is satisfying.

"The Aviator" has a total of 11 Oscar nominations, and Leo says even he's surprised by the phenomenal success of the Howard Hughes biopic.

JP: You worked hard to get this movie made and it's paying off.

LD: It sure is. And I would never have dreamed it would be as successful as it has been and gained so many nominations.

JP: Is it true that you auditioned for "Baywatch" and you didn't get the role?

LD: I think so, yeah. I think that was something that happened.

JP: Have you decided who you are going to take to the Academy Awards yet?

LD: We're all in discussion. It depends on who wants to go, mother or grandmother. I'm not sure, yet.

JP: Or some other woman?

LD: We shall see, we shall see.

Well Leo, you can be sure the world will be watching and cheering you on come Oscar night!

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