LEONARDO DiCaprio met literary legend Charles Bukowski as a baby when his father befriended the writer on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Long before The Wolf of Wall Street star had Oscar dreams, he was the infant of an oddball New York couple, who came to Hollywood looking for a land of dreams, and found themselves living with hookers and junkies.

In an online Screen Actors Guild interview on Friday night (21Feb14), the movie star recalled, "I was born in (the old) Cedars Sinai (hospital), which is now the Scientology Center... on Sunset Boulevard (and) I grew up on Hollywood (Boulevard) and Western (Avenue), which is a kind of well-documented area, because it was Bukowski's safe haven, where he would roam around write. My father would carry me around in a crib and (we'd) run into Bukowski.

"My parents both came from New York and they had this postcard image of a Utopian Los Angeles and Hollywood and we kind of moved into the Mecca of prostitution and drug addicts."