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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Casts Damon Herriman As Charles Manson

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has just cast perhaps its most important character. 

As announced by TheWrap, Australian actor Damon Herriman will take on the role of real-life serial killer Charles Manson for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best known for his role as Dewey Crowe on FX's crime drama Justified, Herriman joins Leonardo DiCaprio as fictional actor Rick Dalton, Brad Pitt as Rick's stunt double Cliff Booth, Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, Rafal Zawierucha as Roman Polanski, and Lena Dunham and Dakota Fanning as Manson Family cult members Catherine "Gypsy" Share and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, respectively. Being a larger-than-life Tarantino flick, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood touts a cast list including dozens more stars — like Clifton Collins Jr., Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Michael Madsen, to name just a few. 

Set in the "height of hippy Hollywood" in 1969, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood centers around Rick and Cliff's struggles to make it in a town they no longer recognize, in which they feel they no longer belong. However, the pair's luck may pick up thanks to one very special person: Rick's next-door neighbor, the blonde bombshell actress and model Sharon Tate, the wife of film director Roman Polanski. But in the final year of the swinging '60s, peril lurks in the City of Angels, as convict Charles Manson and his quasi-commune exact a plan to murder Tate and four others in the home she shared with her famous husband.

At the time of Herriman was confirmed for the film, Rumer Willis (Empire) was cast as British actress Joanna Pettet, Dreama Walker (Don't Trust the B—- in Apartment 23) was cast as actress-singer Connie Stevens, Costa Ronin (The Americans) was confirmed to play Polish actor and Manson Family murder victim Voytek Frykowski, Margaret Qualley (Death Note) was cast as Kitty Kat, Madisen Beaty (The Fosters) was confirmed to portray a character named Katie, and Victoria Pedretti (The Haunting of Hill House) was cast as Lulu.

Though Once Upon a Time in Hollywood isn't entirely about Manson – "It's not Charles Manson, it's 1969," Tarantino once confirmed — the horrifying cult leader and killer will undoubtedly influence the film's plot and sequence of events in a major way. Think of Manson as a danger that looms in the background as the rest of the roster, filled with fictional characters and actors portraying real people, moves through Hollywood with blissful ignorance. 

It'll be interesting to see how an Aussie actor like Herriman will bring to life one of the darkest figures in the last 50 years of American history. 

That considered, it seems Herriman has a sizable amount of work cut out for him, but the fact that he's a three-time Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award nominee (and one-time winner) signals he has the wherewithal to navigate Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with ease — and terrify viewers all across the globe. 

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set for a July 26, 2019 debut.