NEW YORK — While most attendees at the UN Climate Summit flew to New York in jumbo jets, or were driven in gas-guzzling limousines, actor Leonardo DiCaprio wanted to take a stand against the hypocrisy of other wealthy climate activists.
He rode a bicycle to New York all the way from California.
“I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, so I didn’t tell anyone,” explained DiCaprio on Monday, after being spotted approaching Manhattan on an old Schwinn 10-speed. “But you’ve caught me.”
The actor, who on Tuesday delivered an impassioned address to world leaders, said the journey took him two-and-a-half weeks, starting in Malibu and passing through some of the country’s most stunning landscapes, from Arches National Park in Utah to the Appalachian hills of West Virginia.
“I was briefly accosted by two rednecks in Oklahoma who mistook me for a junkie, but otherwise the trip was flawless,” he said.
DiCaprio, star of “Critters 3” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” said he goes to great lengths in his private life to protect the environment, even scolding fellow actors who forget to turn off the lights when leaving a room. He also carries a reusable sack whenever he goes to parties to collect bottles and cans that he later drops off at a recycling center.
Critics have pointed out the actor’s four homes, use of private jets, and frequent trips on yachts result in a carbon footprint much larger than created by most people — and even some small nations.
“Bullshit,” DiCaprio said. “I sleep in a fucking tent, and the last time I burned any fuel it was the middle of winter when I was about to die of hypothermia.”
“I haven’t set foot in an airplane since 2002, when Steven [Spielberg] forced me to fly with real pilots for my role as Frank Abagnale in ‘Catch Me If You Can,’” DiCaprio said, visibly upset. “But no one knows this about me, because I don’t toot my own horn.”
When asked how he travels to overseas locations for movie shoots or awards ceremonies, DiCaprio said there are some things ordinary people cannot understand.
“We’ve almost perfected the science of teletransportation,” he said. “We just need a few more months.”
Hollywood insiders have been saying for years that DiCaprio is very eco-conscious during movie shoots, refusing air conditioning in his trailer and making production crews join him in a Wiccan prayer to Mother Nature before each scene, asking for forgiveness for the hundreds of tons of carbon emissions that a typical Hollywood production creates.
“Leo is the Martin Luther King Jr. of the environmental movement,” said “The Great Gatsby” co-star Tobey Maguire. “He’s Ghandhi of the greens, a bona fide Napoleon Bonaparte for nature, a man so committed to saving Earth that he recycles his own urine.”
“If he’s at the beach with friends, he asks everyone to wear a solar panel on their back,” Maguire added. “He’s pure goodness, so it’s no surprise the UN named him Messenger of Peace and Prince of Perfection.”