The crowd that was able to get into the Cannes Film Festival’s world premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood gave the film a seven-minute standing ovation at the end of one of the most anticipated screenings at the prestigious festival in recent years.
“Thank you for being such a fantastic audience for the first time we’ve ever showed it to an audience,” Tarantino told the crowd after the screening in very brief remarks, thanking the studio, producers, cast and crew.
Video: ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD – Official Trailer (HD)
It was an enthusiastic response to the film, Tarantino’s ninth and most recent film in Cannes since Inglourious Basterds in 2009. He won the Palme d’Or 25 years ago for Pulp Fiction.
The plot revolves around TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who make their way around an industry in 1969 Los Angeles they hardly recognize anymore. It is Tarantino’s tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age. Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Luke Perry and Margaret Qualley lead the loaded ensemble cast.
In an interview with Esquire promoting Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the pair talked about working with the late Beverly Hills, 90210 actor, who played a fictitious TV actor in the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film before his sudden death in March. While Pitt and DiCaprio are two superstars and icons themselves, they admitted they both fanboyed out over Perry.
Thats Luke f***ing Perry! Pitt, 55, recalled thinking when he saw Perry on the set. 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.
Pitt called Perry, who was starring in Riverdale when he died, incredibly humble, amazing and absolutely committed. He said Perry couldnt 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.
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, thats Luke Perry over there!, Leo said, likely referring to his co-star and friend Vincent Laresca.
In the interview, it was pointed out that Pitt, DiCaprio and Tarantino all came of age in this industry at about the same time. Pitts Thelma & Louise, A River Runs Through It and Interview with the Vampire came out in 91, 92 and 94 while DiCaprio appeared in Whats Eating Gilbert Grape in 93. Tarantino, 56, released Reservoir Dogs in 92 and Pulp Fiction in 94.
Their rises coincided with Perrys TV stardom. From 1990 to 2000, he played heartthrob Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210. He died March 4 at the age of 52 after suffering a massive stroke.
Pitt also talked about losing Burt Reynolds, who was supposed to appear in the film — in role of George Spahn — but died in September of a heart attack at the age of 82.
Ill tell you one of the greatest moments Ive had in these however many years weve been at it in this town: getting to spend two days with Burt Reynolds on this film, Pitt said.
Pitt said that growing up in the Ozarks and watching Smokey and the Bandit, you know, he was the guy. Virile. Always had something sharp to say — funny as sh**. A great dresser. Oh, man, he said with a laugh. 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.
The director said he found out from three different people that the last thing he did just before he died was run lines with his assistant. Then he went to the bathroom, and thats when he had his heart attack.
Bruce Dern replaced Reynolds in the film, which is out July 26. It screened on Tuesday at the Cannes Film Festival.
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