“I need to f*ck it up and forget the lines”: Quentin Tarantino Admitted He Was Wrong For Doubting Leonardo DiCaprio After He Decided to Went Off Script

Quentin Tarantino Admitted He Was Wrong For Doubting Leonardo DiCaprio After He Decided to Went Off Script
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Leonardo DiCaprio has done a lot of acting improvisation throughout his Hollywood career, and while director Quentin Tarantino has initial qualms about it, he ultimately realized it made the story more compelling.

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Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio

Tarantino is known for his incredible cinematic vision and only strict supervision can achieve that goal, but in his 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, he let DiCaprio use his creative freedom. It took a lot of deliberation, but soon included the actor’s version in the final edit.

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Quentin Tarantino Was Initially Unimpressed With Leonardo DiCaprio’s Improvisation

Leonardo DiCaprio 4
Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

In his interview with Deadline, Titanic actor Leonardo DiCaprio discussed his character in the film and revealed his unique approach to it:

I told him it was great and that I loved what he did. And I was already on track of thinking, OK, what are we going to do with Rick Dalton? Because in the original draft, there were some things that I needed to understand about who he was. He was this template for the industry at the time, and so much of his character had to exist within the context of watching television, or watching movies, or watching him act.”

DiCaprio was very in touch with his role, and this continued throughout the filming until he decided to give his character his own spin. This created a major change in the direction that Quentin Tarantino planned to tread, which the filmmaker admitted was difficult to grasp:

Leo said, ‘I think I need to f*ck it up and forget the lines. I just wanted to do my Lancer scene, a way to do this Western through the back door. He said, ‘I know I’m kind of f*cking up your scene, but I think that would be good for the character.’

Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino could not help but see this idea of DiCaprio very far from the story he initially wanted to tell. The director agreed to experiment on it, comforted with the idea that his word will be the final say anyway:

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I saw it as him ruining my fun, basically, but I say, ‘Fine. I’ll write a version, and we’ll do the Lancer scene straight, and with the f*ck-up, knowing that in the editing room, I was going to do what I wanted to. As soon as we did that second version, the take that is in the movie, I was like, ‘OK, OK, we’re obviously doing this now.’

In the end, he was surprised at how good the improvisation was, and so he decided to include it in the final editing:

Some of his ideas I liked and some I didn’t, because I had other things in mind, but then… I had to say, ‘OK, you son of a b*tch, you’re right.’ And I went his direction.”

Leonardo DiCaprio’s lengthy career has made him an expert in the art of going off-script, even if it means clashing ideas with the director and standing up for his own vision for the character.

RELATED: “They will do whatever you say”: Quentin Tarantino Would Never Do One Thing While Filming With Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Other Famous Stars

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Leonardo DiCaprio Says Quentin Tarantino Meticulously Pieced His Improvised Scenes Together

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt
Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt

The Revenant star also shared how bringing up the idea to Quentin Tarantino inspired other brilliant concepts that they did in the movie:

What’s so amazing about Quentin is, you bring up one idea like that, and then this whole other Pandora’s Box of possibilities opens up. He makes it a Western, within a Western.”

The director’s attention to detail was also a key element that made the movie both a critical and commercial success:

How do we create Rick’s narrative within the context of an actual set, acting on a B television show, and that led to the whole trailer moment, which was performance art. We rounded up all these subjects and just improvised a few hours, and he spliced it together in a very creative way.”

Indeed, the film remains one of DiCaprio’s most underrated projects. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is available on Netflix.

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Source: Deadline

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2141

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.