It's been 21 years since Leonardo DiCaprio solidified his status as a leading heartthrob in the 1996 classic, Romeo + Juliet — and we've never been the same since! Claire Danes stars alongside the Oscar-winning actor in the Baz Luhrmann adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy.
Set in a post-modern city, the famous story unfolds in the original dialogue, which is seriously impressive, and although it does not have a happy ending, it is still one of our favorite movies. The movie also stars Paul Rudd as Dave Paris and John Leguizamo as Tybalt. While Leonardo did not win any awards for his acting, his director knew he was the perfect guy for the role.
"I wouldn't have been interested in doing it. I couldn't think of anyone who embodied what he embodied," Baz said. "I mean, there's the physical essence, the physical representation, but more importantly… he had such an innate ability to take the language, stay within the iambic but also embrace it and make it his own."
The duo eventually teamed up again for another literary adaptation, Great Gatsby, and are rumored to be working together to take on another Shakespeare classic, Hamlet. "To me, Gatsby is the American Hamlet. What else could we possibly do as a follow-up?" Baz told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's just a dream at this point."
Baz also had great things to say about his leading lady. "I auditioned a load of other young actors who all went on to have careers. I met her and it was amazing," he added. "I met Claire Danes and what was great was although she was still very young, like Juliet, she was wise beyond her years."
Keep scrolling through the gallery to see what the rest of the cast looks like now, and don't forget to buy the film on iTunes!