Actor Brendan Fraser revealed the five words he once said to a teenaged Leonardo DiCaprio — back when he had just finished filming his breakout role in “School Ties” and DiCaprio had just finished with “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”
Fraser — nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his most recent role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” — sat down with GQ Magazine to discuss his trajectory in Hollywood, and he recalled two brief meetings with the “Titanic” star.
The first meeting took place, Fraser recalled, “when he was I think probably all of, I don’t know, 17, 16 maybe, he did Gilbert ‘Grape.’ I saw it on the Paramount lot.”
DiCaprio earned rave reviews for his complex portrayal of Arnie in that film, the mentally impaired younger brother to Johnny Depp’s titular character — who spends much of the film getting himself into dangerous situations — and the son of an overweight mother who refused to leave their home. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role.
Fraser, who was just a few years older than DiCaprio, was among the many who took notice of the young actor’s ability.
“I think I had just been in ‘School Ties’ or something then, and I was, like, flummoxed but I just wanted to tell him, ‘Hear, hear. That was incredible,'” Fraser explained.
It wasn’t until years later, when the two happened to cross paths again while filming Martin Scorcese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” — which also stars Robert De Niro and is slated for release in May of 2023 — that Fraser was reminded of that first meeting. DiCaprio, he explained, remembered exactly what he had said all those years ago and said it back to him.
“He repeated that to me. He remembered me,” Fraser said. “He said, ‘You were the only guy who didn’t treat me like a little kid.’ He volunteered that to me. That was meaningful.”