28 Years Ago, Sharon Stone Went To Bat For Leonardo DiCaprio In A Big Way

“I cannot thank her enough.”

Leonardo DiCaprio spoke about still being grateful that Sharon Stone went to bat for him for 1995's ...
Daniele Venturelli/WireImage/Getty Images; Daniele Venturelli/WireImage/Getty Images

The Quick and the Dead came out 28 years ago, but this might finally be the year Sharon Stone gets her literal flowers for ensuring that Leonardo DiCaprio was cast as Fee “The Kid” Herod. While promoting his latest film, Killers of the Flower Moon, DiCaprio acknowledged that the gesture is overdue. He opened up about how he still “cannot thank her enough” for paying his salary when they worked on their 1995 Western movie together.

DiCaprio and his Killers of the Flower Moon co-star Lily Gladstone were speaking to E! News together when correspondent Keltie Knight told them that Stone couldn’t stop raving about their film during a recent interview. “All she did was talk about this movie,” Knight said. Then she brought up how Stone went to bat for DiCaprio in the ’90s and asked if he’d sent a thank you gift.

Gratitude, Yes. Actual Gift? Maybe Not.

“I’ve thanked her many times,” he said. “I don’t know if I sent her an actual physical thank you gift, but I cannot thank her enough.”

DiCaprio went on to give more context to the situation, which Stone wrote about in her 2021 memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice. “She was amazing. She did that with myself and Russell Crowe at the time,” DiCaprio said of Stone giving up part of her salary to pay him.

Sunset Boulevard/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

How Leo Became The Kid

If it hadn’t been for Stone, DiCaprio wouldn’t have been cast as The Kid. She explained it in her memoir, writing (per Insider) that he “was the only one who nailed the audition”; however, the studio, TriStar Pictures, thought she was “shooting [herself] in the foot” by casting an unknown.

“The studio said if I wanted him so much, I could pay him out of my own salary,” she said. “So I did.”

As DiCaprio noted to E!, Stone had seen him in 1993’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Crowe in 1992’s Romper Stomper, which helped sell her on them. She also pushed to get Sam Raimi hired as director after she told the studio he’d “work nearly for free,” per her memoir. In the end, The Quick and the Dead wasn’t a huge box office success, but it did help DiCaprio and Crowe on their path to becoming household names.

“It’s incredible,” DiCaprio told E!. “She’s been a huge champion of cinema and giving other actors opportunities. So I am very thankful.”

Paying It Forward

Now that DiCaprio is a big-name star in his own right, he’s able to throw his support behind other actors and projects. Gladstone shared during their interview that she hopes to make a film about Mildred Bailey, a jazz singer who grew up on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation and went on to become known as “The Queen of Swing.” Apparently, DiCaprio is cheering on her efforts.

“That’s a biopic that I would love, that he also really wants to see,” Gladstone said, adding that he “is being very encouraging.”