Leonardo DiCaprio had a chance to feel the power of the dark side but turned it down.

The 41-year-old actor, who's generating major Oscar buzz for his performance in the new film "Revenant," told the website ShortList he passed on the chance to play a young Anakin Skywalker -- you know, the guy who winds up as Darth Vader -- in two of the three Star Wars prequels, 2002's "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" and 2005's "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith."

"I did have a meeting with George Lucas about that, yes," DiCaprio said. "(I) just didn't feel ready to take that dive. At that point."

Translated: "I could tell those movies were crud from the get-go."

Hayden Christensen was cast instead.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at the Premiere of "The Revenant" at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood Dec. 16. The actor says in a new interview
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at the Premiere of "The Revenant" at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood Dec. 16. The actor says in a new interview he passed on a chance to play Anakin Skywalker in two "Star Wars" prequels. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) ( Frazer Harrison )

DiCaprio also was apparently reluctant to don any superhero costumes. He told ShortList he also passed playing Robin in 1995's "Batman Forever."

"I never screen-tested. I had a meeting with Joel Schumacher. It was just one meeting and, no, I didn't end up doing it. ... As I recall I took the meeting, but didn't want to play the role. Joel Schumacher is a very talented director, but I don't think I was ready for anything like that."

Ditto for the part of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in 2002's "Spider-Man," a role which wound up going to DiCaprio's close friend Tobey Maguire.

"Er, that was another one of those situations, similar to Robin, where I didn't feel ready to put on that suit yet," DiCaprio said.


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Randy McMullen provides celebrity commentary for the Bay Area News Group. Follow him at twitter.com/randymac57.