Nichole Galicia first met Quentin Tarantino when she auditioned for the
part of a cheerleader in his movie Death Proof. “I got to the audition
in my little cheerleader outfit with my pom-poms,” says the actress, who
was born in Panama, grew up in New York and Madrid, and began her career
in front of the camera as a model. “Six girls in the room were
identically dressed. I was the only non-blonde there, and I didn’t get
the part.” Fast-forward several years: Galicia rented a Gone With the
Wind–style ballgown to try out for the part of Sheba, the favored slave
of Candie, the evil plantation lord played by Leonardo DiCaprio in
Django Unchained. “I was the only one dressed up at that audition.
There’s something about going all the way—this time Quentin gave me the
part.” While they were filming, DiCaprio stayed in character, which
meant he was protective of Sheba/Galicia all the time. “Everyone keeps
asking me what it’s like to kiss Leo!” Galicia says. “Even as Candie,
Tom Ford silk robe and cotton shirt.