Someone would have to be a pretty big deal to leave both Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt starstruck. But in what will turn out to be his final film role, that's exactly what Luke Perry did.
In a new cover story interview with Esquire, the two stars, along with iconic director Quentin Tarantino discussed his new movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood . Eventually, the trio got into the experience of working with some members of the movie's mind-blowing cast.
The discussion had initially centered on the late, great, Burt Reynolds-who was initially cast in Tarantino's film, but had to be replaced by Bruce Dern after his death-before DiCaprio serendipitously mentioned how struck he was when he first saw the 90210 star on the movie's set.
"And for that matter, you know, Luke Perry!," DiCaprio said. Perry, like DiCaprio, plays a fictional TV actor in Once Upon a Time... "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!"
Pitt, too, was struck by the presence on the set-he considered Perry an "icon of coolness" as a teenager.
"Thats Luke fucking Perry!" Pitt recalls shouting. "It was this strange burst of excitement that I had, to be able to act with him. Man, he was so incredibly humble and amazing and absolutely committed. He 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."
Tarantino had the experience of directing the whole movie, of course, and says that he finished cutting Perry's final scene only three days before he attended the actor's memorial service. It led him to thinking about other brushes with morality that he's had in his career in the past:
"Grunge bands loved Reservoir Dogs. I think it was just a good tour-bus movie. Kurt Cobain was this huge fan to such a degree that Im thanked on the third album. And Id never met him. His people called me up and said, Hey, would you like to get together with him? And I go, Id love to, but Im in preproduction on Pulp Fiction, so maybe at some point afterward. But he never made it."
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood hits theaters on July 26, and will be Perry's final role.