Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Leo Dicaprio, by Kathy Cooper

A few years back I had surgery for a torn meniscus and was confined to a wheelchair for awhile. My father volunteered to push me around the L.A. museum and I literally jumped at the chance. (Well not literally.)

But that was the day I literally ran into Leonardo DiCaprio with my wheelchair.

Are you familiar with that famous scene of the two star-crossed lovers who are running towards each other in slow motion amidst a beautiful open field of soft yellow and blue poppies as dramatic love music is being played in the background? Well, it wasn’t like that.

It was more like the Teacup ride at Knotts Berry Farm, going round and round as your eyeballs are doing the same thing in their sockets.

I was alone, pushing myself around looking at Picasso’s work and trying to take in a little too much when it all happened. Oh, did I mention that Leo was also in a wheelchair? Yeah he was. I had run into him, but he was the one who kept apologizing. I couldn’t think of anything in response but, “So, what’re you in for?” (meaning the chair.)

He told me that he also had a torn meniscus. By then I knew it was fate that he and I had collided. Immediately I started telling him about the screenplay I had recently been working on. “Yeah, it’s all about this pack-rat guy and that’s the part I wrote for you. That is, if you like the part. But I can change it.”

Immediately my mind was bombarded with childhood memories of wanting to be a movie star. When I came back to reality I instructed myself, “Don’t act like a gawky fan and start drooling. Don’t act stupid and tell him about the screenplay you’re working on.”

Oops. Too late, stupid.

“Are you who I think I am?” was the only thing I could spit out after that. To this he smiled and shook his head affirmatively.

That day, Leo was in a wheelchair, with a torn meniscus, just like me. The only difference was he wore a baseball cap backwards. The truth is we are all alike; even if we are famous. It’s weird, running into a movie star. One might expect them to be something entirely different than us simply because they become so many different characters on the big screen. But truth is they are like us… Wait a minute. Leonardo DiCaprio was wearing a baseball cap backwards and he was pushing himself in a wheelchair. He didn’t have a torn meniscus! Sitting down, slouched over with a cap covering his face?

He was incognito! I believe it was that night that I realized how hard it must be for movie stars to hide their identity. I finally was happy I had changed my career plans and gone into screenwriting.

Disclaimer: Some of the events in the story have been changed to…spruce up the story.


  1. My Dear K.C. When I read your story I pictured it in my mind's -eye in black and white, and heard it in my head in lucille Ball's voice. So, I would say -that you have succeeded in writing the the screen- play in my head.

  2. Too funny K.C - loved the analogy of the Teacup ride at Knotts! It amazes me how far these famous people have to go not to be recognized. Don't think I'll ever have that problem. You are a great writer with very original ideas. Keep it up.

  3. Kacie Loved your screen-play! You are an excellent writer of original ideals. Such an asset to our class if only the screen writers guild knew about you. Keep it up maybe someday they will.

  4. You give such a refreshingly funny viewpoint on life. I love to hear you tell the same story over again. It never gets old.