"Do I want to be a father? Yes, but I think I have a few more years," the Inception star, 35, tells the Swiss newspaper Le Matin. "That said, I don't think I need to have children to play a father in the movies. This feeling is in me, I understand it completely."
He adds, "In my private life, I still have time to become a dad, and I've no desire to rush."
Asked why he is so discrete about his relationship with Israeli beauty Bar Refaeli, even amid (unconfirmed) rumors they plan to wed this fall, DiCaprio says he prefers his press coverage to be about his professional life.
"I want to be an actor just like my role models. Robert De Niro, for example," says DiCaprio, who was seen cycling with Refaeli last weekend in Paris. "Being discreet in his private life has allowed him to be even more credible in different roles on the big screen."
And when it comes to his own career, DiCaprio, whose character in Inception does have children, says, "I like that I've reached an age where I can play more mature responsible characters, and that includes the father of a family."