In the ’60s-set Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a fictional, fading actor named Rick Dalton who makes a guest-starring appearance on the real-life ’60s Western TV show, Lancer. Writer-director Quentin Tarantino cast Luke Perry as Wayne Maunder, who played one of the leads on the series, Scott Lancer.
“I had a couple of different roles I could have put Luke in,” Tarantino recently told EW. “Luke was like, ‘I want to be on the Western show!’ Because he’s just a really great rider and he loves doing Westerns.”
DiCaprio shares a lengthy scene with Perry in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. At EW’s roundtable interview with the actor, Tarantino, Margot Robbie, and Brad Pitt, I asked him to talk about working with the 90210 star, who passed away from a stroke earlier this year.
“I was immediately struck by his kindness,” said the Django Unchained and Inception actor. “And talking about being a native of Los Angeles, being around this industry my entire life, and really having it in a lot of ways shape who I am, there was this immediate excitement in seeing Luke Perry on set. I remember being in my teens and he was the manifestation of the new [James] Dean on television and everyone was crazy about him. And I felt this overwhelming feeling of being star-struck. Then he and I got to sit down and talk about Los Angeles, the ’90s, his life, where his career had gone, where my career had gone, where his life had gone, where my life…and I was just so, how do I say this, the kindness of his character, I don’t know, it really affected me. When I heard that news it was really heartbreaking.”
Watch the trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood below.
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