Luke Perry's final film role in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood was 'bucket list' item for actor
Riverdale fans had to say farewell to Luke Perry this week as his last scene as Fred Andrews aired, but fans of the late actor will be able to see him on screen one last time in July in Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.
As part of EW’s Summer Movie Preview, Tarantino’s producers David Heyman and Shannon McIntosh revealed some details about who Perry plays and how he fits into the overall plot that centers on Leonardo DiCaprio‘s fading western TV star Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as his stunt double, Cliff Booth.
Heyman tells EW that Perry’s character Scott Lancer is in one of the shows that Rick Dalton stars in. “[Luke] brings a very vivid character who is charismatic, and he brings heart to whatever he does. I think that it will be a pleasure for those fans of Luke to see,” he says.
Perry died at age 52 last month, a week after he suffered a massive stroke, and his untimely death was mourned throughout the film and television worlds. After Perry’s death, DiCaprio paid tribute to his costar, writing on Twitter, “Luke Perry was a kindhearted and incredibly talented artist. It was an honor to be able to work with him. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his loved ones.”
McIntosh said working with Tarantino was “a bucket list for Luke,” and the character is an homage to the pilot episode of CBS Western series Lancer, which ran from 1968 to 1970 and featured actor Wayne Maunder as a character called Scott Lancer.
“Luke went in and won that part and deserved that part and owned that part, so it’s really special that was a bucket list that he was able to work with Quentin,” she says. “His performance is amazing and he will be remembered as we release this movie, and his family will celebrate his performance with us.”
The producers gave EW a glimpse into the world and characters that Tarantino will be exploring for his ninth film that sees him return to his home turf of Los Angeles, but this time to make his “most personal film” by mining his own childhood memories to capture a tale set in 1969 Hollywood.
Another cast member who McIntosh said Tarantino had been excited to work with was veteran actor Burt Reynolds, who died last September before production started.
“We had a lovely afternoon with [Reynolds] and he had some rehearsals with Quentin and the actors in the scene and we were so proud and privileged to have him and obviously heartbroken that he passed before shooting,” McIntosh says. Reynolds was meant to portray ranch owner George Spahn, but after his death, Bruce Dern contacted Tarantino and offered to step into the role.
“Bruce was actually overseas shooting a movie … and was able to get out of his production earlier so that he could come and honor Burt and be with us to play George Spahn, so that was a blessing that we were able to pivot that way,” she says.
Once Upon A Time … in Hollywood is scheduled to hit theaters on July 26.
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