Picture it: May 2002. The Cannes Film Festival. Gangs Of New York. The phone rings in Leonardo DiCaprio’s hotel suite. He pauses, then puts one more model’s phone number in the time capsule he’s planning to bury and then dig up in 2022. “Leo,” he hears Cameron Diaz say, sounding a little harried. “Are you going to shave for tomorrow?” Leo strokes his chin with a proud, defiant smile. “Nah,” he says. “I’m a big boy now.” In her room, eyes alight, Cameron nods. “Good,” she says, relieved. “Because I cannot get a goddamn hairbrush through my hair right now and I did NOT want to be the only one with grooming problems, and I REALLY did not want to have to go full Sliding Doors on myself with scissors from my complimentary sewing kit.” Leo rolls his eyes. Imagine thinking his beard didn’t look deliberate and studly. “See you in front of the beige table,” he says. “Oh you will,” she giggles, then hangs up.
The next day, Leonardo DiCaprio — having borrowed a suit from someone’s older brother — saunters out to the Gangs of New York photocall and premiere, gently furry neck glinting in the French sunlight. There she is: His co-star Cameron, who has deemed it the right day to sport a tablecloth from a disco funeral and her trusty black underpants. “Oh,” is all he can manage. “I told you that you’d see me,” she says. “You should have pulled up your hair,” he replies. “You should have taken all three seconds it needed and shaved,” she counters, and they turn, stiffly, greeting reporters as a light chill descends.