Leonardo told Interview Magazine that he dealt with pressure and competition early in his career:
"There was this one casting call when I was about 10. They brought five kids in just to see their look and if they'd be right for acting. . . . I swear to god, it felt like we were a row of meat. The lady looked at me and at the other kids, saying, 'Not him, not him, not him. You stay.' I was one of the 'not hims.' On the way home in the car, I cried and I said, 'Dad, I really want to become an actor, but if this is what it's about, I don't want to do it.' He put his arm around me and said, 'Someday, Leonardo, it will happen for you. Remember these words. Just relax.' And then I stopped crying and I said, 'OK.'"