In a recent interview with CinemaBlend's ReelBlend podcast, Quentin Tarantino was promoting his novelization of the 2019 Sony film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The Oscar-winning writer-director gave more insight into his material and even admitted that he was forced to make cut to the film that made both himself and Leonardo DiCaprio emotional. "That happens a lot in movies. You drop scenes that are really terrific, but a timeline imposes itself on the cut," the writer-director says. Although his favorite scene didn't make it in the 2019 film, the scene does take place in the novelization.
Quentin Tarantino's favorite scene in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is between Leonardo DiCaprio's Rick Dalton and Julia Butters' Trudi Fraser (the young actress in the fictitious Lancer pilot within the film). In this particular scene, both actors are having an evening phone conversation on the same day of their first day on the set (which is actually seen in the movie). The two essentially share a moving conversation about how lucky they are to be in the entertainment business just before they do a line reading of their following day's scene. That heartfelt moment was there to give more insight into the Rick Dalton character. Tarantino said that it was tough to say goodbye to in the cutting room, but he had no other choice.
"So the idea that that wouldn't be in the movie was unfathomable. That was my favorite scene in the script. I think it was probably Leo's favorite scene that he shot. We were in tears. It was the only time- I've gotten misty-eyed every once in a while shooting this scene versus that scene. But that scene, I mean, Julia and I were in tears every time we finished every take. We were just really proud of that sequence."
Tarantino then explained,
"The reason it's not in the film is - it's a two-fold reason. It seems like an ending to the movie, which, actually was OK in the script, because in the script, I looked at everything that happens in February as part of a three-act structure - and then the stuff that happens on the night of the murder as an epilogue. But that was the wrong way to think about it. Once we started putting the movie together, the stuff that happens in August isn't an epilogue, it's the third act. We've got to look at it that way. And so, they pulled off the scene. The scene is terrific. It's not about them. But when we really worked on assembly ... we realized that after the Spahn Ranch, that ends the February section. There's no coming back from that. That is the ending of that. And now we can't just end it with the Spahn Ranch. So the idea is, after Spahn Ranch, we have to wrap up February as soon as we possibly can. And then once we do, then we go into August. And that happens a lot in movies. You drop scenes that are really terrific, but a timeline imposes itself on the cut."
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a 2019 comedy-drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film was also produced by Columbia Pictures, Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, and Visiona Romantica, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is also a co-production between the United States, United Kingdom, and China. The 2019 film starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, along with a large ensemble cast. The official Once Upon a Time in Hollywood synopsis reads: "Actor Rick Dalton gained fame and fortune by starring in a 1950s television Western, but is now struggling to find meaningful work in a Hollywood that he doesn't recognize anymore. He spends most of his time drinking and palling around with Cliff Booth, his easygoing best friend and longtime stunt double. Rick also happens to live next door to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate -- the filmmaker and budding actress whose futures will forever be altered by members of the Manson Family."
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 26, 2019 and in the United Kingdom on August 14, 2019. The film had grossed a total of $374 million worldwide, and received praise from critics pertaining to Quentin Tarantino's screenplay and direction, cinematography, soundtrack, sound design, costume design, production values, as well as for Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt's performance. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had also received 10 nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards for Best Picture, and won Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt) and Best Production Design. It also won Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt) at the 77th Golden Globe Awards. The novelization of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, was written by Quentin Tarantino in his debut as an author, and was officially published on June 29, 2021.