Quentin Tarantino's latest movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is shaping up to include an impressively massive cast of characters. So, to keep up, it'll help to know who's who in the upcoming crime drama centered around the Manson family murders.
Set in 1969 Los Angeles, California, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood follows a has-been TV actor named Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as they attempt to reestablish themselves in a period in Hollywood with which they don't feel quite as familiar anymore. It just so happens that their pursuit of a second-go at fame coincides with the infamous Manson family murders - namely the murder of Roman Polanski's pregnant wife Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and a handful of her friends in the Hollywood Hills. With a full year until the movie's release, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood marks Tarantino's penultimate feature-length film until he retires from directing, so it's no wonder why he hardly skimped out on assembling an all-star cast.
From veteran Tarantino actors who have worked with the director a number of times over the years to complete newcomers in the Tarantino universe, the call sheet for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood definitely benefits from a once-over from fans excited to see what the two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker has up his sleeves.
- This Page: The Hollywood Characters
- Next Page: The Manson Family, Victims, and Affiliates
The Hollywood Characters
Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton - Though Once Upon a Time in Hollywood includes real-life people and real-life scenarios, Rick Dalton is one of the few exceptions. An actor who starred in a popular Western TV series in the late '50s and early '60s called Bounty Law, Dalton is pursuing a career as a professional actor in Hollywood. Aside from the fact that he lives next door to Sharon Tate, it's unclear whether or not he'll directly tie into the Manson murders. DiCaprio previously worked with Tarantino on Django Unchained.
Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth - Dalton's friend, roommate, and former stunt double, Cliff Booth is Dalton's right-hand man on his pursuit to stardom. Whether or not he too is pursuing a return to stunt work remains to be seen, but he'll play an active role in supporting Dalton's career. Pitt previously worked with Tarantino on Inglourious Basterds, and also starred in True Romance, which Tarantino wrote.
Al Pacino as Marvin Schwarz - A fictional talent agent representing Rick Dalton, little information has been released concerning Marvin Schwarz's extended role in the movie. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will mark Pacino's first time working with Tarantino.
Damien Lewis as Steve McQueen - One of the most renowned actors from the 1960s from starring in movies like The Great Escape and Bullitt, Steve McQueen was friends with hairstylist Jay Sebring - one of the Manson family victims who was murdered alongside Sharon Tate. McQueen had been invited to Sharon Tate's home on the night of the murders, but was unable to attend. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will mark Lewis' first time working with Tarantino.
Luke Perry as Wayne Maunder - A TV actor who notably starred in shows like Custer, Lancer, and Chase, Wayne Maunder was fairly popular during the late '60s and early '70s. This may position him as an actor whose career Dalton might aspire to emulate, though this is not official. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will mark Perry's first time working with Tarantino.
Nicholas Hammond as Sam Wanamaker - An American-Australian actor who earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in the 1978 drama series Holocaust opposite Meryl Streep, Sam Wanamaker has no clear connection with the Manson family murders, so he will likely be tied more directly to Rick Dalton's narrative. He also starred in movies like Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Private Benjamin, and Raw Deal opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will mark Nicholas Hammond's first time working with Tarantino.
Scoot McNairy as Business Bob Gilbert - A fictional actor who stars in a fictional Western TV series set within Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, there are very few details surrounding Business Bob Gilbert's role in the movie. That said, he will likely have a direct connection with Rick Dalton, given that they both starred in Western TV shows - if not the same one. This will mark McNairy's first time working with Tarantino.
Page 2 of 2: The Manson Family, Victims, and Affiliates
The Manson Family, Victims, and Affiliates
Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate - An American actress, model, and former wife of Academy Award-winning director Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate was murdered by members of the Manson family and remains the victim with whom Charles Manson is most associated. Tate was eight-and-a-half months pregnant upon the time of her death, and what's more, she was not Manson's intended victim. She just so happened to be residing in the former home of music producer Terry Melcher who refused to sign Manson to his label. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will mark Robbie's first time working with Tarantino.
Dakota Fanning as Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme - Though Lynette Fromme was not present during the Manson/Tate murders, she still played an integral role within the Manson family. Not only did she live with Charles Manson, she was sent to life in prison for an assassination attempt on US President Gerald Ford six years after the events of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This will mark Fanning's first time working with Tarantino.
Emile Hirsch as Jay Sebring - A Hollywood hairstylist, Jay Sebring was close with both Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. He and Tate dated for a period of time before she left him for Polanski, who Sebring later befriended. He was reportedly the first victim of the Manson family, and he pleaded with the home invaders to spare Tate, given that she was pregnant. Once Upon a Time will mark Hirsch's first time working with Tarantino.
Burt Reynolds as George Spahn - A partially blind rancher in Los Angeles, George Spahn rented out his ranch to the Manson family prior to the Manson/Tate murders - though he was reportedly unaware of their actions. Spahn regularly rented out his ranch to film and television studios, and productions like The Lone Ranger and Zorro, as well as some Western movies, were shot there. He offered rooms to the Manson family in exchange for labor around the ranch, and also starred in Robert Hendrickson's documentary Manson, which was shot on the ranch, and starred members of the Manson family. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will mark Reynolds' first time working with Tarantino.
Unspecified and TBD Roles
The rest of the cast for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood include roles that are either unspecified or TBD. The unspecified roles include Clifton Collins Jr. as Ernesto "The Mexican" Vaquero (he may have ties to the Mexican restaurant in which Sharon Tate and the other victims dined prior to their deaths, though this has not been confirmed) and Keith Jefferson as Land Pirate Keith (there are no details regarding this character, but Jefferson previously worked with Tarantino on Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight).
The TBD roles include several veteran actors in Tarantino's filmography, including Kurt Russell (who previously worked with Tarantino on Death Proof and The Hateful Eight), Tim Roth (who previously worked with Tarantino on Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Four Rooms - which Tarantino co-wrote and co-directed - and The Hateful Eight), Michael Madsen (who previously worked with Tarantino on Reservoir Dogs, both volumes of Kill Bill, and The Hateful Eight), Zoë Bell (who previously worked with Tarantino on Death Proof, Django Unchained, and The Hateful Eight), and Timothy Olyphant and James Marsden - both of whom have never before worked with Tarantino.
It's currently unclear whether or not any of the remaining actors will portray members of the Manson Family, victims of the Manson/Tate murders, or even Charles Manson himself.