Paul Thomas Anderson is back with Licorice Pizza, a critically-acclaimed coming-of-age film about an unlikely romance in the San Fernando Valley in 1973. The movie stars the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son, Cooper Hoffman, and Haim band member Alana Haim in their debut acting roles. But there’s another person who made Licorice Pizza their first film role: Leonardo DiCaprio’s dad. Random, I know, bu wait until you’ve heard the story behind the role.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Paul Thomas Anderson haven’t collaborated on a movie yet, so it’s amazing that the Oscar-winning actor’s father, George DiCaprio, beat him to it. The old DiCaprio, a 78-year-old writer and publisher, has never delved into the Hollywood world like his son but, in Licorice Pizza, he plays the small role of Mr. Jack. The New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan took to Twitter to provide share part of his recent chat with Anderson, during which the director shed some light on the subject:
Licorice Pizza follows 15-year-old Gary Valentine (played by Cooper Hoffman) who meets Alana Haim’s Alana Kane, a 25-year-old photographer’s assistant. The pair begin a love affair that yes, includes the selling of waterbeds at some point. The filmmaker continued to tell the story, with a wild connection between George DiCaprio and his role:
How did PTA know he’d correctly cast Leo’s dad into a profession he once had? I’d chalk it up to the filmmaker’s eye for finding the right people to embody the roles he conjures up in his movies. For example, he chose two unknown actors to play the leads of Licorice Pizza and now each of them are receiving breakout praise.
Funny enough, Leonardo DiCaprio has a movie of his own coming out on the same day as his father’s. He’ll star in Adam McKay’s satire, Don’t Look Up alongside the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Tyler Perry and Timothée Chalamet. (You can check out CinemaBlend’s review of Don’t Look Up ahead of its release). When celebrating the movie at its New York City premiere, he shared his reaction to ET:
Licorice Pizza seems stuffed with interesting and offbeat industry picks. Bradley Cooper is portraying American film producer of the ‘70s Jon Peters, Steven Spielberg’s daughter, Sasha, has a small role as well as does Jack Nicholson’s son, Ray. These are deep cuts we wouldn’t have necessarily noticed prior. But now that you know, check out Licorice Pizza in theaters December 25 and see if you can spot George DiCaprio.
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