"Kids come up and go, 'You know, man, I didn't know you had those kind of problems, man. Oh, shoot! If you had those kind of problems and you made it, I might be able to make it,'" Leguizamo said. "I'm like, 'Yeah, that's exactly what I was trying to put forth.'"
"You got to be trying to do something deeper and reveal the human condition," he added. "You got to have that as your premise."
Leguizamo is taking the stage for 15 performances at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood. He said he gets the most joy when he looks out at the audience and sees diversity looking back.
"It's like religion and we're all being moved," he said. "We're all laughing together at human foibles, at my sexual failures, at all my mistakes and hubris and we're laughing at me and laughing at ourselves."
He says the play features things he says to his therapist that he'd never want the general public to know.
"'Ghetto Klown' to me was somebody from the neighborhood who, when things were really rough and tough, just broke you out, made you laugh and made you feel good about yourself," he said.
"Ghetto Klown" opens Friday.