×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

How Tarantino Turned Back Time for ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is the ultimate love letter to that period of Los Angeles. The year was 1969, and things were changing, to say the least. Tarantino’s latest stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio as Cliff Booth and Rick Dalton, respectively. Booth is a stunt double who drives Dalton, a TV actor, around town from job to job.

Dalton is neighbors with Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). From costume designer Arianne Phillips’ ensembles to Barbara Ling’s production design, the audience is catapulted from 2019 to Hollywood 1969, and the end of the golden age. “It was an absolute complete transformation from the L.A. that I knew,” DiCaprio says in an exclusive featurette.

Tarantino did not use a greenscreen to recreate the magic of that era. He wanted to work with someone who was born in L.A. and knew what that period looked like. “He wanted someone who could speak his language,” says producer David Heyman.

In the featurette, DiCaprio, Pitt, Tarantino and Robbie talk about what it was like being immersed in a movie in which the detail was so meticulous. Ling breaks down the sets the film uses, from Dalton’s home to Cliff’s trailer. They also touch on how Western sets at Universal Studios were used for the TV show portrayed in the film. “We redid the streets and brought it back to the glory days of Westerns,” says Ling.

Popular on Variety

“We shut down Hollywood Boulevard with this film and redid all the store fronts to replicate 1969,” Robbie says. “It was incredible to be immersed in Hollywood Boulevard.

Tarantino says they replaced the neon and spruced the existing signs that existed. “We were able to let the lights blink again on Hollywood Boulevard,” he says of the work Ling did to transport the audience back in time.

More Artisans

  • The Irishman

    'Captain Marvel,' 'The Irishman,' Other Original Scores to Miss Out on Oscar Nominations

    The Regina Spektor song from “Bombshell” and at least six major scores including “The Two Popes” and “The Irishman” won’t be on Oscar’s music shortlists when they are announced next week. That’s because none of them are on the official Academy eligibility lists from which music-branch members are now voting. Preliminary voting ends tomorrow afternoon, [...]

  • Two-time Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks portrays one

    How Production Designer Jade Healy Recreated the Beautiful Neighborhood of Mister Rogers

    Production designer Jade Healy is doing double duty this awards season. For one, her work can be seen in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.” There, she created a world of angst and individuality, making use of negative space as a couple reaches the end of their relationship. In Marielle Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” [...]

  • Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) is

    'The Irishman,' 'Once Upon a Time,' 'The Mandalorian' Among Art Directors Guild Nominations

    The Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) has announced its nominations for the 24th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards in theatrical motion pictures, television, commercials, music videos and animation features. Among the films recognized for outstanding production design are James Mangold’s “Ford V Ferrari,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon [...]

  • Christian Bale, Matt Damon. Christian Bale,

    ‘Ford vs. Ferrari’ Director James Mangold to Receive AIS Harold Lloyd Award

    The Advanced Imaging Society has announced that Academy Award-nominated director, producer and writer James Mangold will be presented with its annual Harold Lloyd Award for filmmaking. The director and producer of 20th Century Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari” will be honored during the Society’s 11th annual awards ceremony January 22 at Warner Bros. Studios. “Ford v. [...]

  • chadwick boseman 21 Bridges

    '21 Bridges' DP Seeks New York-Style 'Street' Cred in Philadelphia

    In director Brian Kirk’s “21 Bridges,” Chadwick Boseman plays a very different kind of hero than T’Challa in “Black Panther”: He’s an intense New York cop tracking a pair of killers throughout the city one fateful night, trying to box them in by closing the titular connections between Manhattan and the mainland. Along with Kirk, [...]

  • Two Popes Production

    How 'Two Popes' Production Team Re-Created the Sistine Chapel, Frescoes and All

    When Mark Tildesley read Anthony McCarten’s script for “The Two Popes,” he saw how integral the Sistine Chapel was to the narrative. As the film’s production designer, he knew he couldn’t film inside the Vatican, which meant he’d have to reproduce the location. “We did visit it with a leading expert — [producer] Enzo Sisti. His [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content