Leonardo DiCaprio’s father got the role of “hippie” in “Licorice Pizza”

Leonardo DiCaprio shares the big screen with his father George DiCaprio for the first time in Paul Thomas Anderson’s new coming-of-age film “Licorice Pizza”.

Senior DiCaprio, 78, plays an eccentric hippie who owns a waterbed shop in the 1970s film set in San Fernando Valley, California, and also plays Cooper Hoffman, son of late Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alana Haim. Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn, Tom Waits and Anderson’s wife, former Saturday Night Live star Maya Rudolph.

Leonardo DiCaprio and his father George DiCaprio on December 4, 2015.Getty Images

How the older DiCaprio, a writer and former performance artist, got into the film is a story in itself. The New York Times reporter Buchanan, who recently spoke to writer-director Anderson for a profile, shared outtakes from their chat on Twitter. In one, he revealed how DiCaprio landed the crazy role.

To hear Anderson talk about it, he basically conjured up a character who looked just like DiCaprio. “I took a picture of a man who owned a wig shop that sold these waterbeds and I couldn’t quite be sure. I always said, ‘Who do I know who looks like this?’ ”He said.

“And like a flash of lightning, I remember ‘Leo’s father looks just like this,'” he continued. “So I found him and asked him if he would ever be interested in a movie. He said, ‘Sure.’ ”

DiCaprio as a baby with his parents George and Irmelin.Getty Images

But the similarities between Anderson’s fictional hippie character and the Oscar winner’s real father went even further than the director realized.

“I explained the scenario to him. He said, ‘Sounds great. Did Leo tell you I own a waterbed company? It was called Foggy Bottom,” recalled Anderson.

Anderson thought that coincidence was a sign he’d made a wise casting decision.

“It was one of those things. I said, ‘Well, you’re the right man for the job!'” He said.

Leonardo DiCaprio, 47, previously credited his father for encouraging him to pursue his acting dreams.

In 2016, the Don’t Look Up star told Parade, “My dad always said to me, ‘Get out there, son, and whatever you do, I don’t care if you’re successful or not , just have an interesting life. “

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