Once upon a time in bromance land. 

By Tess Garcia
Updated Jan 30, 2020 @ 3:45 pm
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Is there anything more delightful than two dudes being bros?

In the summer 2019 blockbuster Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio share the silver screen for the very first time. Though director Quentin Tarantino may not have realized it, that casting decision would set the stage for a match made in bromance heaven. Over the past few weeks, it’s become increasingly clear that Pitt and DiCaprio have forged a bond that goes beyond a typical costar relationship. Frankly, their friendship might be the purest we’ve seen since Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's friendship during last year's award season, when the pair hit all the red carpets to promote A Star Is Born.

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As Pitt and DiCaprio's film nabs accolades left and right, they've taken their star-crossed bromance public. We first picked up on it at this year’s Golden Globes, when Pitt used his acceptance speech for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role to thank his “partner in crime,” DiCaprio. He even went so far as to joke that he would have “shared the raft” in Titanic with his costar, whom he affectionately called LDC. Sure, actors acknowledge other actors all the time, especially during awards shows, but it’s not every day they openly use their bro-y nicknames for one another. Score one for the (platonic) love affair between two of Hollywood’s most famous men.

Matters escalated at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards a couple weeks later. On the red carpet ahead of the show, Pitt revealed to reporters that DiCaprio has a nickname for him as well, but suffice it to say that Leo’s pet name for Brad is a bit more, um, intimate.

“Lover. He calls me Lover,” Pitt said, eliciting exactly the response you’d expect from the Twitterverse. He immediately acknowledged the unusual nature of the nickname: "It's a bit confusing, but I roll with it." If calling him Lover is what makes DiCaprio happy, it seems to be fine by Pitt. Score two for the bromance of the century.

During another interview later that night, Pitt praised DiCaprio’s no-holds-barred acting method, and the duo closed out the awards at the Netflix SAG Afterparty, where they got cozy chatting it up with fellow A-list pal Al Pacino. (What do you call a throuple of bros?)

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Awards season may have solidified their brolationship status, but the signs have been months in the making. Pitt and DiCaprio hinted that their friendship went beyond a typical professional relationship from the very start of their press tour for Once Upon a Time. Take a July 2019 appearance on the Today show, for instance, during which DiCaprio said “of course” he’d like to work with Pitt again. Pitt, for his part, quipped that he wanted to record a Christmas album with his pal and work together on films reminiscent of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin’s classic dynamic duo comedies.

If one looks carefully enough, the beginnings of this bromance can be traced back even further, all the way to the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where both men gushed over what it was like to work with the other. According to DiCaprio, there was “incredible ease and comfort getting to work alongside Brad.” That comfort had to have been in high supply to warrant the "Lover" pet name.

“We have the same reference points. We have been going through this at the same time. Similar experiences to laugh about,” Pitt told reporters at Cannes of why he and LDC jived so well on set, adding: “I hope we do it again, it was great fun.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has secured 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for DiCaprio and Pitt, respectively. Until the evening of Feb. 9 rolls around, there’s no telling what the Academy Awards will bring either of their ways, especially given how many incredible actors are also in the running. One thing’s for sure: Win or lose, the LDC-Lover rendezvous is bound to continue, full steam ahead.