By Boris S
A cult 90s film could have brought together Natalie Portman and Leonardo DiCaprio. Here’s why the meeting didn’t happen.
Natalie Portman was only 10 years old when an agent spotted her in a New York pizzeria. Ambitious, the young girl aspires to become an actor. She landed her first role three years later in Leon by Luc Besson where she is asked to play a child who befriends a hitman. The film immediately propelled his career to Hollywood. Soon the proposals are coming in by mail. But the beginning actress chooses her roles with sagacity and relies on the “authors”. After having given the answer to Al Pacino in Heat by Michael Mann, he was offered the leading role in a feature film destined to become cult.
From Kate Winslet to Christina Ricci, actresses are dying to star alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet by Australian Baz Luhrmann. Outdoing her sisters, Natalie Portman goes to Sydney to audition. The golden role, however, poses some problems for him. “ It was a complicated situation because at the time I was 13 and Leonardo was 21, which was not appropriate in the eyes of the studio or Baz Luhrmann,” the actress will explain to the media BuzzFeed. And to specify in another interview with the New York Times : “Fox Studios felt like Leonardo DiCaprio was attacking me every time he kissed me.”
Who got the role promised to Natalie Portman?
Back in New York, Natalie Portman must resolve to follow the advice of Fox and Baz Luhrmann. The role of Juliette slips through her fingers. We then considered recruiting Sarah Michelle Gellar, but the future star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer prefers to decline the offer due to a schedule conflict. Leonardo DiCaprio then whispers the name of Claire Dane in the director’s ear. “She was the only girl who looked me in the eye during the auditions”he declared later in an interview relayed by the New Yorker. The young actress discovered in the series Angela, 15 years old, landed the role upon his first meeting with Baz Luhrmann. You know the rest…