The Michigan Theater hosted a live-stream video Q&A session with actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie and filmmaker Quentin Tarantino Saturday afternoon. 225 people packed the theater for a screening of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” which preceded the Q&A. The movie was free to the public and included four additional scenes of the film.
When asked how the idea for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” came about during the Q&A, Tarantino shared his experience with an actor and stunt double duo which inspired the two main characters in the movie.
Tarantino said the dynamic he saw between the actor and stunt double was something unique to the Hollywood screen. He decided he wanted to portray in a movie.
“I’m sitting there watching them on the set in their identical outfits.You can tell that they’ve been doing this for (a long time),” Tarantino said. “… And I thought ‘Wow, that’s a really interesting relationship. If someday I ever make a movie about Hollywood, a relationship like that would be a really interesting way inside the brand.’”
DiCaprio shared with the audience that filming “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was a new experience for him. Although DiCaprio is a very accomplished actor with roles in “Titanic” and “The Revenant,” he said he had to go through a learning process when playing his character Rick Dalton.
DiCaprio said his main inspiration for the movie was from actor Ralph Meeker.
“I started excessively watching his work because there was a vulnerability and a sensitivity to him, and that some pathos that he had in his work that I felt Rick had the potential to emulate in his own career,” DiCaprio said. “I didn’t quite understand what kind of actor Rick could be, and that led to a lot of our turning points in the discussion of where Rick winds up that day in the set.”
During the making of the film, all of the props were made to look like they were from 1960s. There was even a no-cellphone rule on the set. The actors explained it made the filming experience feel authentic to the setting, and made it easier to play their parts.
Pitt described Tarantino’s response on set when a phone went off during film production.
“You have to check your phones. There are no phones; this is sacred ground. One went off in-between takes and you would’ve thought someone walked into the Sistine Chapel and took a shit,” Pitt said. “Not only did the production come to a grinding halt, but no one would come to it. Quentin sent us home for the rest of the day.”
LSA senior Julia Warsecke attended the event, and told The Daily she was excited to hear how Tarantino prepares to shoot his films.
“It was really interesting to hear Tarantino talk about his process on set,” Warsecke said. “Especially how he sets up shots the day of, which was really cool to hear about.”
Margot Robbie played the real-life character of Sharon Tate, an actress who died in the 1960s. Tate was stabbed to death by members of the Charles Manson family. The moderator explained Tate was known more for her death, and this movie brought her life back into context.
Robbie was asked about getting into the role of Tate and if that was difficult for her. Robbie explained she had a lot of positive preparation to be Sharon Tate, which she said was more difficult than any other character she has played before.
“It was such a joy to go on that exploration and journey because her life was quite magnificent,” Robbie said. “She was an angel on earth, and I think that was part of the tragedy. I find it a lot easier to go dark … I feel like I can get there a lot quicker. To be truly light all the time was actually hard, but a joy as well, like being on vacation all the time. I worked with a movement coach a lot, and we did a lot of weird stuff like run around pretending to be a cloud.”
LSA junior Kaylee Hatch told The Daily she enjoyed hearing Margot Robbie talk about her transition into playing the role of Sharon Tate.
“My favorite part about the interview was when Margot Robbie was talking about all the stuff that she had to go through training to play Sharon Tate,” Hatch said. “She talked about working with a movement coach and really trying to emulate positivity on the side and talking about how to emptiness that was very immersive and different than films are today.”