Sharon Stone paid Leonardo DiCaprio's salary for The Quick and the Dead.
The 63-year-old actress has revealed she had to convince TriStar Pictures to cast the then-21-year-old actor in the 1995 western movie, which came out two years before he became a global star in Titanic.
Writing in her memoir The Beauty of Living Twice, she said: "This kid named Leonardo DiCaprio was the only one who nailed the audition.
"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."
However, studio bosses were hesitant and asked her: "Why an unknown, Sharon, why are you always shooting yourself in the foot?"
Sharon added: "The studio said if I wanted him so much, I could pay him out of my own salary. So I did."
Leonardo, now 46, had appeared in Critters 3, This Boy's Life, What's Eating Gilbert Grape and The Basketball Diaries before The Quick and the Dead hit the big screen.
The movie — which also starred Gene Hackman and Russell Crowe — saw Sharon play a new gunslinger in town who clashed with the local leader.
The flick was directed by The Evil Dead filmmaker Sami Rami, and Sharon revealed she also had to fight for him to be involved.
She claimed the studio saw him as a "D-movie director".
She continued: "Getting a producer credit as an actress is often thought of in my business as a 'vanity deal,' meaning they pay you for the job but shut the f*** up and stay out of the way.
"I won’t accept a vanity deal and let them know that upfront. This is illegal, I say, and I like to work within the law. That gets a lot of silence and not a lot of joy on the other end." — BANG SHOWBIZ
Photos: TPG News/Click Photos