Child actor Julia Butters, who had one of most scene-stealing moments in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, says she was unaware who superstars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt were until she auditioned for the film. The 10-year-old Butters featured as a committed child actor Trudi Fraser in Quentin Tarantino’s 1969-set drama.
She said she had no idea about DiCaprio and Pitt until she told her math tutor that she was going to audition for the film. “This is the weird way I found out: I told my math tutor that I was going up for the part, and he said, ‘Oh, that’s the movie with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio!’
“I didn’t know who they were. As far as I was concerned, Leonardo DiCaprio was Leonardo da Vinci,” Butters told The Hollywood Reporter.
Butters, who has a scene with DiCaprio in the film, said she wasn’t “starstruck” by the actors. “I’m not as starstruck as most adults would be,” she added.
The young actor said she tried to be a true professional like her character, adding DiCaprio was even more of a pro. “He was really quiet and invested in reality. In between scenes, he’d invite me to come talk,” she said.
Butters said they discussed many things, even touched upon his career as a child actor. “We talked about his experiences as a child actor. He told me to always be professional and focused when you’re working. He said, ‘You’ve clearly aced that already’,” she recalled.
Billed as Tarantino’s ode to the Hollywood of his childhood, Once Upon a Time… explores how the Golden Age of the industry came to an end with the murder of actor Sharon Tate at the hands of the Manson Family cult in 1969.
It features DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, an ageing, out-of-work actor, with Pitt playing his longtime stunt double named Cliff Booth. The two characters happen to be the neighbours of Tate, essayed by Margot Robbie in the film.
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