Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt and writer-director Quentin Tarantino may have shown up a little late coming from the annual AFI Awards lunch, but the point is, they showed up! We weren’t lying! The trio sat down with For Your Consideration host Scott Mantz as part of the FYC Screening Series at ArcLight Cinemas, where Tarantino revealed that he watches the show!
They were joined by costume designer Arianne Phillips, production designer Barbara Ling, and casting director Victoria Thomas. Both Phillips and Ling were nominated for Oscars, and I know everyone is talking about how there should be an Oscar for Best First-Time Filmmaker or Best Stunt Ensemble, but seeing as I’m someone who breaks a lot of casting news, I’ve always thought there should be an Oscar for Best Casting. But I digress…
Tarantino playfully called out Scott for not having Once Upon a Time in Hollywood among his Top 5 Best Picture predictions, to which Mantz proudly proclaimed that he ranked it sixth. Tarantino also noticed my eye for fashion, having worn the same Champion shirt that Brad Pitt’s character wears in Once Upon a Time on a past episode of FYC. What can I say? Game recognizes game. Surely Phillips appreciated that!
In the video above, you’ll hear DiCaprio and Pitt talk about working together, as well as working with Tarantino again following their respective turns in Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds. Scott compliments them on their chemistry together, and how they seemed to just understand the nature of their characters’ friendship, to which Pitt replies, “we’re really good actors.”
Tarantino talks about how personal the film was for him, having grown up in the late 60s and 70s, when he worshipped Bruce Lee. This was his love letter to the Hollywood of yore, and Academy voters may very well be receptive to that nostalgic vibe. Production designed Ling was tasked with recreating Tarantino’s memories of the town, from the cars to the marquees.
Pitt is a frontrunner for supporting actor, and he talked about the thrill he got from being allowed to cruise down Hollywood Blvd. with no traffic or speed limit to slow him down. Meanwhile, it’s been a while since we’ve seen DiCaprio play a character this down-on-his-luck, and the actor shared how he “implicitly and instinctively” understood the story that Tarantino was trying to tell, and what Rick Dalton’s relationship was like with Cliff Booth. “This is an industry that can be incredibly lonely at times,” said DiCaprio in discussing their friendship.
Watch the full Q&A above, and stay tuned for upcoming FYC interviews with the teams behind Us and Jojo Rabbit. And don’t forget to watch the latest episode of For Your Consideration, which takes an in-depth look at this year’s Oscar nominations. If you haven’t seen Once Upon a Time in Hollywood yet, click here to read Gregory Ellwood’s A-minus review, which should give you a push if you’re still on the fence.