Monday night’s premiere of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood brought out some of the biggest names in, well, Hollywood. The film’s stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, were joined on the red carpet of Quentin Tarantino’s latest flick by other A-listers like Britney Spears and Chris Hemsworth. But one celebrity who was noticeably missing was the late Luke Perry, who now counts Tarantino’s ninth film as his final movie role.
Perry plays Wayne Maunder in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, a Canadian actor who rose to fame in the late 1960’s playing Scott Lancer in the CBS series Lancer. Perry’s role in the film represents the culmination of a childhood dream for DiCaprio, who revealed on Monday night that he grew up idolizing the Beverly Hills 90210 star.
“I grew up with him on [Beverly Hills] 90210, looking up to him as literally the coolest dude on Earth and honestly when I was on set, I was starstruck,” DiCaprio told Extra at Monday night’s premiere. “We got to sit down and chat. He couldn’t have been a more amazing human being,” said DiCaprio of the late actor. “It’s a real tragic loss.”
DiCaprio has previously spoken about his love for Perry following the 52-year-old’s sudden death after a massive stroke in March. The notoriously private DiCaprio made an exception for Perry and deviated from his usual social media posts about his environmental initiatives to pay tribute to the late actor after his death, tweeting “Luke Perry was a kindhearted and incredibly talented artist. It was an honor to be able to work with him. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his loved ones.”
Luke Perry was a kindhearted and incredibly talented artist. It was an honor to be able to work with him. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his loved ones.
— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) March 4, 2019
Perry’s 21-year-old son Jack also honoured his father ahead of Monday’s premiere, climbing on top of an LA billboard that showed the actor in costumer as Maunder. “Big premiere tonight. He deserved this, and I’m very proud of it. A stud in life, and forever after. The best of the best. Love you forever,” writes Jack, with the Instagram post receiving comments filled with love and support from Luke’s Riverdale co-stars Skeet Ulrich, Madelaine Petsch and Madchen Amick. Longtime friend and 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty, who is set to appear in a Riverdale tribute episode for Perry this season, also commented on the post, writing “With you in spirit tonight.”
Director Quentin Tarantino also saw Jack’s tribute and told ET that the picture “made my whole day.” Speaking to ET on the red carpet of Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Tarantino added “It’s fantastic, it moved me so much.” The director fondly remembered Jack’s involvement in his father’s final film, saying “Luke’s son actually worked on the movie. He wanted to work on the film, so he worked as a PA and he worked as an extra on a couple of scenes, so I know he had a wonderful experience on the movie. But he looked so badass up there on that billboard, and it was such a lovely tribute to his father.”
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood opens July 26.