While Leonardo DiCaprio may be one of Hollywood’s most successful leading men, Quentin Tarantino imagines him as a washed-up actor named Rick Dalton trying to make it through the end of the decade in the hit film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. Co-starring Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, the summer blockbuster recounts the events leading up Sharon Tate’s murder in the summer of 1969.
In an extended scene not shown in the theatrical release, the Oscar winner has to do some singing and dancing in a flashback from Dalton’s heyday as an in-demand actor who appeared on everything, including the 1965 American musical variety series “Hullabaloo”. While Dalton gives it his best effort, it’s safe to say he’s not the best singer. But his boyish charm carries him through to the finish line.
A hit at the box office, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” tells the story of an aging TV star and his longtime double (Pitt) navigating life in Los Angeles and in an industry they hardly recognize anymore. Tarantino’s ninth film also sees Robbie playing Tate in the months leading up to the night that changed Hollywood forever. The ensemble cast also includes breakout star Julia Butters, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Luke Perry, who was featured in a deleted scene, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern and Al Pacino.
Ahead of the premiere, DiCaprio explained to ET how he and Pitt were able to step into the shoes of each character with natural ease. “We both live in Los Angeles and this is about the changing of the culture in the late ’60s, and we understand these dynamics of these professional relationships that also turn into families,” he said, crediting Tarantino for making it so easy to embody their respective parts.
“Quentin gave us this amazing backstory of our characters and what we’ve been through and it was one of the more easy, sort of natural fits that I’ve ever experienced,” he continued. “Because we kind of knew who these guys were.”
Now, the film is one of the frontrunners during this year’s awards season, with both stars earning Oscar buzz and the film expected to be honored with numerous accolades over the coming months.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is now streaming on Digital, and will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD starting Dec. 10.