Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt's portrayal of a troubled heavy metal fan in new film Hesher reminded Metallica so much of tragic guitarist Cliff Burton, they immediately agreed to licence their music for the movie.
The Until It Sleeps hitmakers are famous for refusing to allow their tracks to be used for other projects, but they made an exception when they saw Inception star Gordon-Levitt in the dark drama.
The actor admits he based much of his title character's behaviour on Burton, who died when Metallica's tour bus crashed in Sweden in 1986, and he was stunned when his rock idols recognised the similarities without prompting.
Gordon-Levitt says, "They dug the movie. It was a real honour and I took a lot of inspiration for this character from the basis of some of their early albums, this guy named Cliff Burton, who played on Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning...
"And when the band saw it, they were like, 'You know what, he reminds us of Cliff,' and we didn't even tell them that's what we were going for. And they let us use their songs and I was actually moved because I grew up headbanging to Metallica."
The star relived his teenage years as a heavy rock fan during an appearance on U.S. TV show Conan on Thursday (21Apr11) when he donned a blond wig and demonstrated his headbanging skills - tossing a glass table and smashing a glass vase in the process.