Sharon Stone once paid Leonardo DiCaprio's salary for a film when the studio refused to cast him
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It’s hard to think there was once a time when Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t the acting powerhouse we know of him today, but it seems he owes part of his success to Sharon Stone.
For her next starring film, Sam Raimi’s 1995 revisionist Western drama The Quick and the Dead, she insisted on working with the young actor, as well as Russel Crowe.
However, the studio refused to cast him, leaving Sharon to take matters into her own hands and deciding to pay his salary so he could be in the flick.
“She said, ‘These are the two actors I want to work with',” DiCaprio recalled as he spoke to E! about the story.
“It’s incredible. She’s been a huge champion of cinema and giving other actors opportunities, so I’m very thankful.”
“I’ve thanked her many times,” he added. “I don’t know if I sent her an actual, physical thank-you gift, but I cannot thank her enough.”
Stone also recalled this story herself in her 2021 memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice.
“This kid named Leonardo DiCaprio was the only one who nailed the audition,” Stone wrote.
She explained that she auditioned multiple teen actors for the role of The Kid and liked DiCaprio the most.
“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.”
Stone recalled the studio telling her, 'Why an unknown, Sharon, why are you always shooting yourself in the foot?’
“The studio said if I wanted him so much, I could pay him out of my own salary. So I did,” Stone continued.
Stone also explained that when she produces films, she likes to have a hands on approach and won’t settle for just staying out the way.
“Getting a producer credit as an actress is often thought of in my business as a ‘vanity deal,’ meaning they pay you for the job but shut the f**k up and stay out of the way,” Stone wrote in her memoir.
“I won’t accept a vanity deal and let them know that upfront. This is illegal, I say, and I like to work within the law. That gets a lot of silence and not a lot of joy on the other end.”