"I had a job driving strippers around ... . Yeah, my job was to drive them to bachelor parties and things. I'd pick them up, and at the gig I'd collect the money, play the bad Prince tapes and catch the girls' clothes. It was not a wholesome atmosphere, and it got very depressing. After two months I went in to quit, and the guy said, 'Listen, I've got this one last gig tonight.' So I did it, and this girl -- I'd never met her before -- was in an acting class taught by a man named Roy London [a famous acting coach]. I went and checked it out, and it really set me on the path to where I am now ... . Strippers changed my life."

NEW YORK, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- "We're all in it for the free food, actually. We are all, in our hearts, out-of-work actors," Golden Globe winner Helen Mirren told Newsweek in the annual Oscar Roundtable, held last week at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood and excerpted in the January 29 issue (on newsstands Monday, January 22). The event, which was open to the public for the first time, brought together Mirren, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Forest Whitaker, Penelope Cruz and Leonardo DiCaprio. Senior Writer Sean Smith and Senior Editor David Ansen moderated the stars' lengthy and lively discussion of their lives, their craft, their passions and their fears.

DICAPRIO, on growing as an actor:

"I knew I wanted to be an actor, but it wasn't until 'This Boy's Life,' when I was 16, that I started to research quality films. I remember watching James Dean in 'East of Eden.' I said to myself, 'Wow, I didn't know it was possible to give a performance this good.'"

PITT: "Although you were extraordinary on 'Growing Pains'."

DICAPRIO: "Thank you, buddy. As were you."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16720751/site/newsweek/