Quentin Tarantino: Leonardo DiCaprio was ‘nervous’ to improvise on ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ soliloquy

“It was so nice that he was nervous that day because he had to and he knew it,” Tarantino said of the Oscar-winning actor.

Leonardo DiCaprio had some reluctance to get into Rick Dalton’s mind.

DiCaprio played the fictional ’70s actor in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” apparently being “a little nervous” to have a full-blown tantrum as Rick during a tense monologue sequence. The scene involved Rick (DiCaprio) running wild after forgetting his lines and slapping snow on his face in his trailer.

“What happened there, I knew I wanted to have that scene but I didn’t want to write it. I didn’t want the dialogue to be memorable,” writer-director Tarantino said during the “2 Bears, 1 Cave” podcast (via ScreenRant). “So I got Leo and I was I say, ‘Look, this is what I want to do: I want you to come having sex not knowing your lines and I want you to come in the trailer and be a complete mad rage on yourself, hate-fest, full-blown tantrum against yourself. Just a massive pity party where you lose your shit’ , but against yourself, no one else. And I want him to have the randomness of his improvisation, it just comes from you.”

Tarnatino continued, “Now, what I did do though, was I gave him different topics he could rant about: ‘This is a topic, this is a topic, this is something you can say. ‘” And then he said, “Great.” He was a little nervous. He was actually very nice that he was nervous that day because he has to and he knows it.”

The Oscar-winner added, “So we’re shooting this scene and I’m right next to the camera and we do a few different takes and that was cool. And then, from time to time, if I think he’s run out of something I can throw something his way.”

In fact, the scene’s premise was completely rewritten at DiCaprio’s request. Tarantino told Deadline in 2019 that the original scene didn’t include Rick forgetting his lines, nor did the trailer breakdown. DiCaprio suggested to Tarantino that Rick spoil the set of the “Lancer” TV show.

“Leo said, ‘I think I need to screw it up and forget the lines,’” Tarantino recalled. “I just wanted to do a ‘Lancer’ scene, a way to do that western through the back door. [Leo] He said, “I know I’m sexing up your scene, but I think that would be good for the character.” I saw him ruin my fun, basically, but I said, ‘Good. I’ll write copy, and we’ll do the ‘Lancer’ scene straight, however, knowing that in the editing room I’d do whatever I wanted.”

The “Reservoir Dogs” author added, “As soon as we did that second version, this one in the movie, I was like, ‘Okay, well, obviously we’re doing this now. ‘” He was right. He was great and gave everything an arc that works great.”

The “Travis Bickle sequence,” as Tarantino called it in reference to Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver,” just proved how DiCaprio is “one of the most, if not the most gifted, naturally gifted actors of his generation” I’ve worked with of any. time ago. “

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