British film-maker Danny Boyle remains adamant LEONARDO DiCAPRIO was not to blame for the critical failure of THE BEACH - he insists his hatred of the backpacker lifestyle was the root cause of the problem.

The acclaimed TRAINSPOTTING director realised he had made a mistake in agreeing to adapt Alex Garland's best-selling novel about westerners seeking an escape from modern life when he began to miss being at home in London.

And Boyle is keen to move blame away from DiCaprio - who was suffering from a TITANIC-fuelled backlash in the media when The Beach was released.

He tells British magazine EMPIRE, "The biggest problem for me was that I had nothing in common with the people on that beach, those backpackers.

"It wasn't Leo, which everyone thinks it was, it wasn't. He's a sweetheart and a brilliant actor. Look at The Aviator. But I'm a city boy - if I go to the countryside, after half a day I'm out of mind, bored.

"The idea of 'escaping' was alien to me. I really didn't know what I was doing there. Actually I remember John Hodge (the film's screenwriter) saying, 'You know, I think I hate these people...'"

13/06/2005 17:27