According to Quentin Tarantino (via IndieWire), Leonardo DiCaprio totally improvised the scene where Rick Dalton panics in his trailer after missing his lines for “Lancer”. The mistake, mixed with the fact that Dalton’s career is on a downward trajectory, made it a raw moment that Tarantino said was all DiCaprio.
In case you forgot, Dalton is in his trailer swearing, throwing things around, and generally mumbling about his failing career and alcoholic tendencies. He yells at himself looking at himself in a mirror and cries on the couch, and he’s an emotional bombshell. “It wasn’t in the script actually, so we never rehearsed it or anything,” Tarantino said. “Leo had a whole thing. At one point, it was like, ‘Look, I need to screw it up during the’ Throw ‘streak, okay? And when I shit during the’ Throw ‘streak, I need to have a real crisis of conscience about this and I have to come back from it. ”
The “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” director said they shot the scene twice – one where Dalton delivered his lines successfully and one where. he does not do. Tarantino revealed that he was the most nervous he had ever seen DiCaprio on set. DiCaprio said he took inspiration from his own history as an actor and the roller coaster of emotions he experienced in his work. “I definitely had days like this,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever freaked out like this.”