One of the seeling point of Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie is the big star team-up of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. But had the actor not been available, thing would’ve turned out much differently. According to the director himself, Tom Cruise could’ve starred in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Speaking to Happy Sad Confused, Tarantino confirmed he did indeed talk to Cruise about joining the film, as it was widely rumored at the beginning of casting. “He’s a great guy, and we really hit it off. [A collaboration] could happen on something else.”
So why isn’t Tom in the movie?
As explained by the 56-year-old filmmaker, it was all about getting the right combo of leading men. DiCaprio and Pitt, both of whom Tarantino has worked with before, were his first choices to star in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. But landing them was never a sure thing.
“You can’t count on that,” the director said. “They both have to respond to it, they both have to want to play those roles, they both have to be available, there’s a whole lot of stuff there. And if you’re casting an actor, casting a team, where the one guy is a double of another guy, then they have to match up in the right kind of way.”
In other words, had Cruise been cast in Hollywood instead of Pitt, that didn’t necessarily mean DiCpario would still be in the movie too. While Leo and Brad don’t really look alike, they’re a much closer match than Leo and Tom—and that’s precisely why Quentin had several pairings in mind.
“So, the reality is I had maybe eight different pairing of actor that could go together in a realistic way in this kind of situation. Now, the ones that I got were definitely my number one choice, but I would never just be confident about that, I had to have a few different backups and a few different exploratory ways to go.”
Now that we know Tom Cruise could’ve starred in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, we’re dying to know with who he would’ve been paired with!