Sharon Stone says she knew Leonardo DiCaprio "was a superstar" when she first saw him audition for 1995's 'The Quick and the Dead'
As Stone, 65, graced InStyle's latest cover story, the actress recalled making 1995's The Quick and the Dead with DiCaprio, who was still a teenager and fresh off early-career successes in 1993's What's Eating Gilbert Grape and other roles.
The Quick and the Dead marked Stone's first film she worked on as a producer on top of acting. She negotiated a $3 million salary to costar in the Western movie with Gene Hackman as an 18th-century woman seeking revenge over her father's murder.
She took part in casting DiCaprio to play Hackman's character's son in the film and knew "he was a superstar" when she saw the young actor's audition, per the outlet.
Stone paid DiCaprio's $1 million salary for the movie out of her own pocket when the film's producers balked at casting him, a fact that did not turn public knowledge until she wrote about it in her 2021 memoir The Beauty of Living Twice.
“Leo was a kid,” Stone recalled of working with him. She told the outlet she doubts he knew she paid his salary before she published her book.
Stone recalled that Leo would spend time with her in her trailer and do impressions of her while on set. To celebrate DiCaprio's birthday during filming, Stone and her sister "took him go-karting [to celebrate]," she recalled.
“I wanted to be in a great movie, not a stupid movie,” Stone told the outlet of personally pushing for DiCaprio's casting. “So I got the best people to surround me that I possibly could.”
Back in November, DiCaprio addressed Stone's act of kindness with E! News when he told the outlet, "I've thanked her many times," for casting him in the movie. "I don't know if I sent her an actual, physical thank-you gift, but I cannot thank her enough."
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"She said, ‘These are the two actors I want to work with.' It's incredible," he recalled at the time. "She's been a huge champion of cinema and giving other actors opportunities, so I'm very thankful."
Crowe previously recalled that Stone pushed for his casting during a 2020 appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, in which he said, "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," he added. "I've got a lot to thank her for."
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