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Further Phoenix
at Rio's Attic:


Los Angeles

Brian J. Robb

What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

Leonardo DiCaprio

The Leonardo DiCaprio Album

Arnie Grape
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix
American EnglishEn Français

The Leonardo DiCaprio Album

by Brian J. Robb.
First published in 1997.

ISBN 0-85965-242-4 (Paperback, 104 Pages)

Author Brian J. Robb has put aside his regular, tried-and-tested approach that he has made use of in all the other biographies he has written and instead produced this book, the text of which is somewhat shorter than usual. This time around, he has chosen to illustrate his work with page after page of full-color glossy photographs that will no doubt delight any Leonardo DiCaprio fan.

It isn't long into the book though, that the author begins talking about the subject of one of his earlier works.

Leonardo had always wanted to meet Phoenix - and claims to have almost done so on the night of his death. Aged nineteen, Leonardo was celebrating Hallowe'en in style, attending a fancy dress party in Los Angeles. He was dressed as 'Johnny Hollywood' - "you know, the typical Hollywood actor" - complete with slicked back hair and black leather jacket for posing in. As Leonardo was going into one party venue, he claims to have spotted Phoenix heading in the other direction, leaving for his final, fatal trip to the Viper Room. "I remember seeing this guy wearing a mask," said Leonardo. "I knew it was River. I wanted to say 'Hi', but I got caught up in a crowd and slid right past him. Next thing I knew, River had died, that same night."

Also discussed is DiCaprio's strong dislike at being labeled "the new River Phoenix." One possible clue as to this reasoning can be found in the previous chapter in which one particular incident during the production of What's Eating Gilbert Grape? is discussed.

Leonardo's childhood animal obsessions came back to haunt him on the set of What's Eating Gilbert Grape? when he fell foul of the on-set animal welfare officers. In an early scene in the film, Leonardo's Arnie places a grasshopper in a mailbox, then slams it shut, decapitating the insect. "I didn't know I wasn't supposed to kill him. They said put the head in and slam it. So I killed one and this is the take they used. There was a whole bunch of animal rights people on the set to make sure that the fucking grasshopper didn't get its head chopped off, and I didn't know, and they complained. But it was too late when its head was writhing on the floor!"

And people think that River Phoenix and Leonardo DiCaprio have a lot in common....

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