Camila Morrone, Leonardo DiCaprio's girlfriend, defends their 23-year age gap

Morrone, 22, said of her relationship with DiCaprio, 45, that "anyone should be able to date who they want to date."

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Camila Morrone understands the fascination with the 23-year age gap between her and boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio, but hopes her latest role will help her carve out an identity outside of their relationship.

Morrone, 22, opened up about the attention surrounding her romance with DiCaprio, 45, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Camila Morrone said of the 23-year age gap with boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio that "anyone should be able to date who they want to date." Getty Images

"There’s so many relationships in Hollywood — and in the history of the world — where people have large age gaps," she said. "I just think anyone should be able to date who they want to date."

However, she understands the scrutiny she has received for dating "The Revenant" star.

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"I probably would be curious about it too," she said.

The former model turned actress has been generating buzz for her performance in the independent film "Mickey and the Bear," about a high school senior taking care of her single father, a military veteran who has PTSD.

The movie has drawn comparison's to Jennifer Lawrence's breakout performance in the 2010 movie "Winter's Bone," in which Lawrence played a high school student trying to take care of her younger siblings and find her missing father.

Morrone's performance in "Mickey and the Bear" looks to earn her recognition for more than just being the girlfriend of one of Hollywood's biggest stars.

"I think more and more now that people are seeing the film, I’m slowly getting an identity outside of that,” she said. “Which is frustrating, because I feel like there should always be an identity besides who you’re dating. ... I understand the association, but I’m confident that will continue to slip away and be less of a conversation."

The age difference between Morrone and DiCaprio pales in comparison to actor Dennis Quaid, 65, and his fiance, Ph.D. student Laura Savoie, 26, who got engaged in October.

Quaid, who will be getting married for the fourth time, opened up about their relationship last month.

“I didn’t go out looking for an age gap or someone really younger than me," he told The Guardian. "I met her at a business event and then the relationship developed. You have no control over who you fall in love with. I don’t fall in love easy. But I can’t let what a few people think control all that."

His son Jack Quaid, 27, with ex-wife Meg Ryan is a few months older than his future stepmother, but Quaid called the attention their relationship has received "wonderful."

"Everyone comes from the perspective of their own life and so I can't comment on the way they feel; I can't even get angry," Quaid said.