“‘That’s Luke f–king Perry!’” Pitt, 55, recalled saying to DiCaprio, 44, in their cover story for Esquire’s Summer 2019 issue, published on Tuesday, May 21. “We were like kids in the candy shop because I remember going to the studios and [Beverly Hills, 90210] was going on and he was that icon of coolness for us as teenagers. It was this strange burst of excitement that I had, to be able to act with him.”
DiCaprio echoed, “I remember my friend Vinny, who is in the film as well, we walked in and we both had this butterfly moment of like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s Luke Perry over there!’”
Pitt and DiCaprio played stunt double Cliff Booth and Western TV star Rick Dalton, respectively, in the upcoming dark comedy, while Perry had a smaller role as actor Wayne Maunder in what became his final feature film appearance. The Riverdale star died in March after suffering a massive stroke at age 52.
“Man, he was so incredibly humble and amazing and absolutely committed,” Pitt told the magazine. “He couldn’t have been a more friendly, wonderful guy to spend time with. I got to sit down and have some wonderful conversations with him. It was really special.”
Quentin Tarantino, who directed the movie, revealed that he “finished cutting together Luke’s last scene” three days after attending the actor’s funeral.
Pitt and DiCaprio also paid tribute to Burt Reynolds, who died at age 82 in September 2018 before he finished shooting his part in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The Smokey and the Bandit star was ultimately replaced by Bruce Dern.
“He was the guy. Virile. Always had something sharp to say — funny as s–t. A great dresser. Oh, man,” the Fight Club star told Esquire. “And I had never met him, so being there with him reminded me of how much I enjoyed him as a kid. And then getting to spend those days with him in rehearsal, I was really touched by him.”
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood hits theaters on July 26.
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