Here’s Why Leonardo DiCaprio Feels Indebted to Sharon Stone, ‘Cannot Thank Her Enough'
In Hollywood tales, few narratives are as captivating as how Sharon Stone, the iconic actress, plays a prominent role in shaping Leonardo DiCaprio’s career. In 1995, during the making of Sam Raimi’s revisionist Western drama The Quick and the Dead, Stone defied the studio’s contemplation to cast a barely known DiCaprio, going so far as to pay his salary herself. The bombshell revelation of this extraordinary gesture from Stone has left DiCaprio forever grateful, as he recalls the incredible opportunity she gave him. DiCaprio fresh off his Oscar-nominated breakthrough in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, found himself in the middle of Stone’s determination to work with him. Leo expressed his gratefulness saying, "I've thanked her many times. I don't know if I sent her an actual, physical thank-you gift, but I cannot thank her enough,"
DiCaprio further said, "She said, ‘These are the two actors I want to work with.' It's incredible. She's been a huge champion of cinema and giving other actors opportunities, so I'm very thankful." As per People, Stone’s commitment to casting DiCaprio and Russell Crowe in the film was unwavering, even if it meant dipping into her salary to make it happen. Stone’s memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, provided detailed insights into this Hollywood anecdote. In the book, she disclosed the studio’s resistance to casting DiCaprio and their proposition that if she desired him so much, she could pay him from her salary. Stone took on the financial responsibility without hesitation, showcasing her dedication to the actors she believed in. In her book, Stone wrote that DiCaprio was the "only one who nailed the audition." She recalled, "In my opinion: he was the only one who came in and cried, begging his father to love him as he died in the scene."
As per Vanity Fair, the encounter with the studio became a defining moment for Stone, motivating her to become a producer. While Stone's generosity toward DiCaprio is well-documented, it's worth noting that she also played a crucial role in Russell Crowe's career. Crowe, in a 2020 interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, expressed profound gratitude, stating, "I used to say my theory of Los Angeles was you have to be careful because they will nice you to death, They will nice you so much that you think everything's going to go well for you, and then you realize X amount of time later that you got nothing out of all that niceness. It took me probably about 18 months or more and literally hundreds and hundreds of meetings before I got an American gig, I only got it because Sharon Stone had seen a movie I was in."
Crowe further continued, "She was kind of in a sword fight with the male producers on the film and she just put her foot down and said, 'I'm going to hire the person I want to hire as the love interest.' If it wasn't for her strength of commitment, I don't know how long it might have been before I got an American movie." The impact of Stone's choices on DiCaprio and Crowe is undeniable. DiCaprio's career skyrocketed shortly after The Quick and the Dead, with the blockbuster success of Titanic just around the corner.
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