EXCLUSIVE: Leonardo DiCaprio Was Supposed to Be in 'Now and Then' -- But Not in the Role You'd Expect!

by Leanne Aguilera 4:35 AM PDT, October 19, 2015
Photo: Getty/New Line Cinema

Be still, our Tiger Beat-ing hearts -- we almost had two hunky blonde '90s heartthrobs in Now and Then!

To celebrate the movie’s 20th anniversary -- the teen drama first hit theaters on Oct. 20, 1995 -- we sat down with screenwriter Marlene King to get some inside scoop on the classic flick.

The one thing we didn’t expect? For her to shock us with the knowledge that Leonardo DiCaprio was originally cast in the movie.

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According to King, all of the roles in the beloved, coming-of-age film were cast with their first-choice actors, except for one.

"The one role that originally was different was Leonardo DiCaprio was going to play the Vietnam vet, but something happened and he had a conflict," she revealed. "I know, it's crazy!"

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Despite DiCaprio's "conflict" -- which, after thoroughly studying his filmography, could have been the 1995 drama, Total Eclipse -- King felt that they found a wonderful replacement for the role.

"Brendan Fraser was like a last minute swap for him," the Pretty Little Liars showrunner spilled. "But Brendan did such a good job, so it was all good."

Photo: New Line Cinema

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But, wait… what? Let's rewind: Leonardo DiCaprio as… the Vietnam vet?!

Naturally, when King revealed that DiCaprio was supposed to star in Now and Then, we assumed he was cast to play Scott Womer, the ultimate boy next door.

Photo: New Line Cinema

However, that iconic role belonged to Devon Sawa, who teamed up, once again, with his Casper co-star, Christina Ricci, and Sawa became the big-screen crush we all longed to share an awkward, yet endearing, first kiss with.

"[Devon and Christina's kiss] is still one of my favorite scenes, and that was like a real memory," King dished of the self-described autobiographical film. "That was just like my first kiss when he kisses Roberta. That was like right out of my life's story and was so true to life."

Photo: New Line Cinema

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So did King know that Sawa would become the sexual awakening for an entire generation of girls? (Writer's Note: Heck yes, we really asked her that!)

"No, we just knew that he was so cute!" King answered with a laugh. "I had watched Casper because somebody had mentioned Christina for the movie, and we just thought he was so adorable. They just had such good chemistry together too."

Now, if you'll excuse us, we'll just be daydreaming about what life would have been like if DiCaprio had been cast as the cigarette-smoking vet in Now and Then...

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Could you imagine DiCaprio as the Vietnam vet in Now and Then? Who else was in love with Scott Wormer growing up? Share your thoughts with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter!