Director Tom DiCillo didn't want to beg people for money to make this film, so he asked his actors if they would work for free. All of them agreed and most of them even put up money themselves. Eventually anybody who contributed a few dollars got a part in the movie.
The idea that Brad Pitt was the model for the buffoonish Chad Palomino character is a myth. Pitt himself was slated to appear as the Palomino character, until a Legends of the Fall (1994) scheduling conflict forced him to drop out. Apparently, James Le Gros *was* mocking a self-absorbed Hollywood star; it just wasn't Pitt. Tom DiCillo says that while he can't name any names, LeGros confided that he had lifted all of the Palomino character's mannerisms from a star with whom he had just finished working.
Chad says that, "The only reason he took a part in this movie is because someone said that you [Nick] were tight with Quentin Tarantino." Steve Buscemi previously worked with Tarantino in Reservoir Dogs (1992).