Sharon Stone emerged as a crucial figure when a studio hesitated to cast a young Leonardo DiCaprio, going to great lengths to ensure he secured the role by personally covering his salary. This not only secured DiCaprio's place in the film but also revealed Stone's remarkable generosity.
It's quite fascinating to envision Leonardo DiCaprio before he ascended to the stardom we now know him for. Yet, Sharon Stone played a pivotal role in his journey.
Following DiCaprio's exceptional performance in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," Sharon Stone took notice.
When the time came to assemble the cast for "The Quick and the Dead" in 1995, Stone insisted on having DiCaprio join alongside Russell Crowe.
This decision marked a significant turning point in DiCaprio's career, owing much to Stone's unwavering support and unwavering belief in his talent.
When the studio initially rejected Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone took charge, going as far as covering his salary expenses to ensure his participation in the film.
"She said, 'These are the two actors I want to work with,'" DiCaprio recounted in an interview with E!, reflecting on 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."
Sharon Stone recounted this remarkable story in her 2021 memoir, titled "The Beauty of Living Twice." In her memoir, she fondly remembered the pivotal moment when she personally took action to ensure that Leonardo DiCaprio secured his role in the film.
In her own words, Stone wrote, "This kid named Leonardo DiCaprio was the only one who nailed the audition."
She elaborated on how she had auditioned several teenage actors for the part of The Kid and found DiCaprio to be the standout choice.
"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 reminisced about the studio's reaction, with them saying, '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 added.
She also clarified her approach to film production, emphasizing that she prefers to be actively involved and hands-on, never content with merely staying in the background.
"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 shared 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."