1995 Demi Moore Cult-Hit Leonardo DiCaprio Regrets Turning Down: “Brendan Fraser was a last-minute swap”

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In the realm of cinema, there are roles that actors regret turning down, and then there are roles that, in retrospect, become a part of the cult classics. The 1995 film Now and Then falls into the latter category, a movie that has aged like fine wine, gaining a cult following and remaining relevant even in 2023.


This coming-of-age drama, which Leonardo DiCaprio turned down, has since become a beacon of nostalgia and a testament to the power of female friendships. One can’t help but wonder if DiCaprio, looking back, feels a twinge of regret for not being a part of this enduring classic.

The Timeless Appeal of Now and Then

Now and Then movie
A still from Now and Then

Now and Then is a film that has stood the test of time. Released in 1995, the movie was a moderate box office success, earning $37 million on a budget of $12 million. Despite initial dismissal by critics, the film has since gained a cult following for its authentic depiction of girlhood and the complexities of adolescence.


The narrative, which oscillates between the past and the present, resonates with audiences, making it a timeless classic. In 2023, nearly three decades after its release, the film’s relevance is undiminished, its themes of friendship, growing up, and the nostalgia of the past striking a chord with viewers across generations.

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Leonardo DiCaprio’s Missed Opportunity and Brendan Fraser’s Gain

Leonardo DiCaprio 1995
Leonardo DiCaprio in 1995

One actor’s loss is often another’s gain, and such was the case with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brendan Fraser in Now and Then. DiCaprio, who was initially offered a role in the film, turned it down due to a conflict. Little did he know that Brendan Fraser was the last-minute swap who would step in and seize the opportunity.


The screenwriter of the film revealed in an interview,

“The one role that originally was different was Leonardo DiCaprio was going to play the Vietnam vet, but something happened, and he had a conflict,”

“Brendan Fraser was a last-minute swap for him. But Brendan did such a good job, so it was all good.”

This decision, while perhaps justified then, might now be a source of regret for the actor, given the film’s enduring popularity and cult hit status. However, fate had its own plans, and the role was eventually filled by Brendan Fraser, who, despite being a last-minute replacement, delivered a performance that was well-received by audiences and the film’s creators alike.

Also Read: Brendan Fraser’s Secret Rendezvous With Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart Sparks Rumours of the Trio Starring in Jumanji 4!


The Creative Minds Behind Now and Then

Now and Then Cast
The Cast of Now and Then

The success of Now and Then can be attributed to the creative minds behind it. Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter and written by Marlene King, the film boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including Christina Ricci, Rosie O’Donnell, Demi Moore, and Rita Wilson, among others.

The film’s nuanced portrayal of female friendships and the trials of adolescence is a testament to King’s insightful writing and Glatter’s sensitive direction. The cast’s performances, including Fraser’s commendable portrayal of a Vietnam veteran, breathe life into these characters, making the film a memorable experience for the audience.

Also Read: “Over my dead f*cking body”: Mark Wahlberg Was a D*ck to Leonardo DiCaprio Who Took His Revenge By Kicking Him Out of a Movie


Now and Then is a film that continues to resonate with audiences. Its friendship and growing-up themes are as relevant today as they were in 1995. For Leonardo DiCaprio, the decision to turn down a role in this cult classic might be a source of regret.

Source: Far Out Magazine


Written by Hikithe Achumi

Articles Published: 151

Hikithe Achumi is a Marvel Comics and MCU enthusiast with 5 years of content writing experience. With a background in Journalism and Digital Media.