• Leonardo DiCaprio and Sharon Stone are good friends
  • Sharon helped him out big time when he was struggling
  • THIS is why Leo is so thankful to her

The Oscar-winning heartthrob couldn't hold back his gratitude as he recounted the pivotal role Sharon Stone played in his early career. Who knows where he might have ended up without her? Back in the wild west of '95, a young and relatively unknown Leo was vying for a spot in the gunslinging drama 'The Quick and the Dead...'

Leo tells all about Sharon's rescue

The studio bigwigs were playing hardball, but Stone, doubling as a producer, saw the raw talent in DiCaprio and went all-in on her gut feeling. She told the suits, "If you won't pay him, I will!" And pay she did...right out of her own pocket! Fast forward to today, and DiCaprio is still singing Stone's praises.

She was adamant about casting DiCaprio and Russel Crowe in the film, and she was willing to pay for it. "She said, 'These are the two actors I want to work with,'" DiCaprio recalled. "It’s incredible. She’s been a huge champion of cinema and giving other actors opportunities, so I’m very thankful."

Stone starred as a gunslinger who visits a frontier town and clashes with its leader. In her 2021 memoir, 'The Beauty of Living Twice,' she revealed that she paid for DiCaprio’s salary herself after studio TriStar Pictures refused to cast him. 

"This kid named Leonardo DiCaprio was the only one who nailed the audition," Stone wrote, adding that she auditioned a handful of teen actors for the role of The Kid. "In my opinion he was the only one who came in and cried, begging his father to love him as he died in the scene."

Stone recalled the studio telling her, "Why an unknown, Sharon, why are you always shooting yourself in the foot?’"

Sharon took a big risk on Leo

"I've thanked her many times," he told 'E! News', with a twinkle of indebtedness in his eye. "I cannot thank her enough." It seems the silver screen siren's generosity didn't just stop at Leo. Russell Crowe also owes a slice of his success to Stone's fierce determination to cast him as her love interest, despite the producers' resistance.

Stone's memoir, 'The Beauty of Living Twice,' reveals the behind-the-scenes drama, including her insistence on DiCaprio for his ability to bring raw emotion to the audition. Crowe echoed the sentiment on 'Late Night with Seth Meyers,' admitting that without Stone's iron-willed advocacy, his path to American cinema stardom might have been a long and winding road.

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It's hard to imagine that sort of camaraderie these days, in a town where niceties can be as fleeting as a Hollywood Hills mist. Stone's actions were a beacon of genuine support. She didn't just talk the talk; she walked the walk, and two of Hollywood's finest talents have her to thank for their iconic roles.

Sharon never missed a beat in the celebrity world, and remembered that it's the acts of kindness behind the scenes that often make the biggest splash on film!