Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are two of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood, with several Academy Award nominations each (and one big win for Leonardo DiCaprio). So, it can be easy to forget that both actors had stints on TV shows earlier in their careers. In fact, they both appeared on the same TV show back in the late '80s/early '90s: Growing Pains.
Pitt and DiCaprio will appear together in the upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood film, but they recently took the time to remind everybody of their TV days a few decades ago:
BRAD PITT: But we did start on the same television show.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Growing Pains.
BRAD PITT: [gestures at himself] ’89, [gestures at DiCaprio] ‘90.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Me, ’91, ‘92.
BRAD PITT: Oh were you? Maybe I was ’90 then.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: I don’t remember. I mean we’re talking decades ago, but we were on the same television show.
Yes, back before Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio got their big breaks in Hollywood films, they both appeared on Growing Pains. Interestingly, Pitt was a little off with his math. Although he did appear on Growing Pains in 1989, his first appearance on the show was back in 1987.
In a bit of trivia that is pretty hilarious considering his star power nowadays, Brad Pitt actually played two different characters in his two appearances on the show. Suffice it to say that Pitt wasn't playing the most pivotal characters in Growing Pains history, and I'm guessing it didn't cost him any of those massive movies he almost starred in!
Leonardo DiCaprio had a far more significant role on Growing Pains, so it makes sense that he got his dates correct. He joined the cast of Growing Pains in 1991 and was credited in 23 episodes of the seventh and final season. DiCaprio played homeless teen Luke Brower, who was taken in by the Seaver family. It wasn't the project that launched DiCaprio's A-list career (that was something else entirely), but it was something!
As you can probably tell by the dates and as the actors confirmed during their appearance on NBC's TODAY, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt never did a scene together during their respective times on Growing Pains. They also never appeared together on any other TV show or film during their long and very successful careers in showbiz, and they're only part of the star-studden Once Upon a Time in Hollywood cast.
Will either actor ever return to television for a key role? The idea of A-list actors taking a break from the big screen for TV was once all but unheard of, but movie stars have made the move to the small screen for series -- although often limited series or series with short episode counts -- more and more in recent years. Big Little Lies alone is packed with stars from the silver screen, including Meryl Streep herself.
Brad Pitt appeared in eight episodes of Comedy Central's The Jim Jefferies Show as the very depressing Weatherman starting in 2017, but I'd say that hardly counts as a high-profile project that showcases what made him famous. Most of his contributions to TV have been in executive producing capacity. As for Leonardo DiCaprio, he has even fewer TV credits than Pitt, although he actually had some decent runs on some shows. His latest TV appearance was as himself in a Saturday Night Live cameo.
Hey, maybe Growing Pains could get a reboot! One member of the original cast tragically passed away back in December 2016, but reboots and revivals are all the rage in recent years. Leonardo DiCaprio at least could make sense to reprise his role. And wouldn't it be at least somewhat entertaining if Brad Pitt played yet another character for yet another bit role?
You can see more of Leonard DiCaprio and Brad Pitt ahead of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood when more of the interview airs during TODAY on Monday, July 15, starting at 7 a.m. ET on NBC.
If you want to watch Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio back in their early days at sitcom actors, you can find all seven seasons of Growing Pains (and lots of other streaming TV and movie options) now and in the not-too-distant future.