Leonardo DiCaprio saw people "intoxicated by their own self-importance" growing up in Los Angeles.
The actor doesn't think he'll ever get carried away with money like his character Jordan Belfort in 'Wolf of Wall Street' or drugs or booze because he has seen people make bad choices and he doesn't want to do the same.
He said : "I grew up in Los Angeles, I was born in Hollywood, so I've seen firsthand the destructive nature of that town and how people are intoxicated by their own self-importance and surrounded by temptation on a daily basis.
"I wouldn't say it was a dangerous place but there's all sorts of choices in life and I've always tried to focus on one thing.
"No matter how much talent you have you have to be in the right place in the right time."
He added: "I understand that I'm lucky to be given this amazing opportunity, it's what I've always wanted to do so I'm not going to waste it.
The 39-year-old heartthrob has had an acclaimed movie career but has never won an Academy Award but admits he does dream of winning an Oscar one day.
He said: "Anyone is a liar if they say they don't want a reward or good reviews for their performance.
"But I've come to realize you have absolutely no control over what people think of your film, and they can tell you something to your face and then you realize they must have voted differently."