Quentin Tarantino's summer smash hit Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is coming to Digital just in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday on November 26 with the 4K, Blu-ray and DVD arriving on December 12. Over the weekend, he held a Q&A from his personal theater in Hollywood, the New Beverly, where he was joined by Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. During the discussion, he went behind the curtain for some fun stories direct from the set.
Director Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time in Hollywood features one of the great greatest performances from Leonardo DiCaprio to date. He stars as struggling movie star Rick Dalton. His wonderful performance features an array of memorable moments, with arguably the most memorable being his rage-fuelled freak out in his trailer during filming of the TV series Lancer. The scene is equally one of the films most hilarious, and most endearingly revealing moments as Rick Dalton aggressively chastises himself after forgetting his lines, and the moment turns out to be quite the turning point for the character.
Well, it may surprise you to learn, seeing how crucial it is to the character's arc, that the scene was not originally in the script and was created during production and improvised on the day. Tarantino shared this information with his New Beverly audience in a live taping that was shared to various theaters throughout the country.
"Well, it wasn't in the script, actually, so we never rehearsed it or anything. It wasn't in the script. It was something that just somewhere along the way of shooting I think I came up with the idea. Here is the thing, though. That whole section kind of evolved as we were shooting the movie, because there was a whole thing. Leo had a whole thing. At some point it was like, 'Look, I need to f*ck up during the Lancer sequence, alright? And when I f*ck up during the Lancer sequence, I need to have a real crisis of [confidence] about it, and I have to come back from that to some length.'"
Clearly this demonstrates the kind of instinct we would expect from an actor of DiCaprio's calibre, but it is interesting to note that Tarantino was not entirely on board with the idea at first.
"My immediate response is, 'What are you going to f*ck up my western sequence? That's my western, alright? I get two for one with this movie! I'm trying to sneak a Western in here when nobody's fucking looking. Don't fuck it up!' And so almost like we did with him fucking up his hand in Django where it was like, 'Well, I don't know if I want to do that.' So we did the Lancer scene without the f*ck up, and then we did it with the f*ck up. And then once we did it with the f*ck up it was just so amazing, alright, that of course we're going to use it."
Of course, the director eventually agreed it was the right move, and ended up taking some inspiration from the most iconic monologues in modern movie history.
"Then it was like, 'Well, now we need a little bit more than that, if we're going to really build up... you're having your gunfight at the OK Corral, but it's with yourself as you walked back to the Lancer set.' I think I described it exactly this way. I think we shot it exactly this way. It was like, 'It's gotta be like Travis Bickle when he's in his apartment by himself.' And that was literally our stop and start with the whole damn thing."
Once they were both in agreement though, DiCaprio began to show some trepidation, but as is to be expected, Tarantino was there to guide the actor through with his talent for foul language.
"He's like, 'Well, what should I say?' I go, 'Well, you should improvise. I want you to improvise it, but I'll come up with things to be flipped out about.' So I came up with about four or five or six things that he could obsess on and go nuts over. But then it was going to be him doing it. So if ever he runs out of... 'Get pissed off about Jim Stacy.' [As Rick Dalton] 'Oh that f*cking Jim Stacy just sitting up there watching me, and thinking he's so f*cking hot. He couldn't be a fucking wrangler on my f*cking TV show!' [As himself] 'Talk about the little girl.' [As Rick Dalton] 'And that f*cking little girl! She's sitting there...!'"
There is quite a bit of this footage that didn't make it into the finished cut or even the recently released extended cut, but it is believed that some of this footage will make it into a recut Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Netflix miniseries, which the director is rumored to be working on. The story at hand provides some real insight into the creative process behind the film, and the fact that both an actor and director at the height of Hollywood can still learn a thing or two, but it is DiCaprio's nerves though that are really fascinating, and something that Tarantino had never seen before in the leading man.
"To me, as great as the scene is, the cutest part of the scene was how nervous he was to do it! I mean, I've never seen him so nervous as the day, alright, knowing that in three hours we're going to do it."
If it's alright for DiCaprio to feel nervous sometimes, perhaps us 'normies' should give ourselves a break. The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD is coming this December packed with extras including deleted scenes and exclusive behind-the-scenes featurettes. This news was captured live from the Q&A at the New Beverly.