Leonardo DiCaprio nearly had to change his name to Lenny Williams
| Last updated
It’s rare for celebrities to go by their real name, with most opting to change it as soon as they enter the spotlight.
Surprisingly though, Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t one of them with the actor choosing to keep it – despite one agent begging him not to.
Though the Titanic star’s moniker might be iconic in Hollywood now, he very nearly went under the pseudonym Lenny Williams.
Back in the nineties, the heartthrob appeared on Letterman and was asked about his unusual name. In fact, the TV host described it as ‘rhythmic’ and ‘poetic’ as they chatted on the late-night talk show.
According to The Wolf of Wall Street star, he’d tried to secure an agent but they’d been unimpressed with his name.
Though DiCaprio was just six years old at the time, the management team tried to create an alter ego for the actor.
He explained: “Well the first time I got an agent…they wanted to change my name to Lenny Williams…”
The Once Upon A Time In Hollywood actor then revealed that his name had sounded a little ‘too ethnic’ for the agents.
Instead, they tried to rejig his real name with a hilariously bad result: Lenny Williams.
If you are wondering how they settled on the moniker, Dicaprio clarified the agent’s reasoning on the US talk show.
“So they sort of dissected it and said ‘Hey Leonardo, Lenny…” he confessed.
Continuing, he told Letterman: “My middle name is Wilhelm, so they changed that to Williams. I didn’t want it.”
Thankfully, the young thespian knew better and didn’t sign with the agency - despite him being keen to land his big break.
Just as well as DiCaprio would go on to be a household name, thanks to the Oscar winner’s incredible performances over the years.
Even Letterman looked shocked by the agency’s crazy decision, referring to the actor’s real name: “Wow that’s a good one…. that’s great.”
For those who are still curious about DiCaprio’s name, he went then added that his middle name came from his mother, who has German ancestry.
Meanwhile, the DiCaprio are the descendants of Italians with the family opting for a suitably European first name.
With a name like that, it’s no wonder the actor was destined for the big screen.