Quentin Tarantino, the American writer, director, and actor has made a name for himself as a Hollywood legend who thrives on shock and controversy. His films tend to disgust and fuel his audiences as well as make them question their own morality … all by intention. In the world of cinema, nothing is aimless. And Tarantino knows exactly what he’s doing.
Love him or hate, his movies are hard to forget and make a lasting impression on viewers and critics alike. In 2005, Tarantino was included on the annual Time’s 100 list of the most influential people in the world. And filmmaker and historian Peter Bogdanovich referred to Tarantino as “the single most influential director of his generation.”
On that note, here’s a list of all things Tarantino. Even if you consider yourself a QT fan, you probably haven’t heard of all the things on this list.
Let’s start with the basics. His full name is Quentin Jerome Tarantino and he’s of Italian, Irish and Cherokee ancestry. He was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the only child of Connie McHugh and Tony Tarantino. And he just recently became a married man for the first time at the age of 54!
Tarantino met 35-year-old Israeli singer and model Daniela Pick in 2009 while he was in Israel promoting his film “Inglourious Basterds”. They split but later reconnected in 2015 after ended his relationship with Kill Bill’s costume designer girlfriend Courtney Hoffman.
The marriage is a first for both Tarantino and Pick. In 2009, Tarantino explained why he chose not to get married up until now: “When I’m doing a movie, I’m not doing anything else. It’s all about the movie. I don’t have a wife. I don’t have a kid. Nothing can get in my way.”
His passion for film started at a young age. He even dropped out of Narbonne High School in Harbor City in Los Angeles school at the age of 16 to train as an actor at James Best Theatre Company. But he got bored after two years and dropped out of that, too.
His job as a youngster inspired his eventual film choices…
Remember when we had to go to video rental stores to watch movies at home? Yeah, well, QT worked at one called Video Archives in Manhattan Beach in California for five years. He later said how he would observe what people would like to watch and he claims that it really influenced his directorial choices.
At one point in his life, he considered becoming a novelist. He said that he wrote two chapters of a novel about his experiences working at the Video Archives rental store. He also worked as a recruiter in the aerospace industry.
Tarantino’s career started in the early 1990s when he became an independent filmmaker. His movie Reservoir Dogs came out in 1992, and it was funded by the money he earned from selling his script for Natural Born Killers to Oliver Stone.
The film was eventually called the “Greatest Independent Film of All Time” by Empire. Tarantino also co-wrote and directed a movie called My Best Friend’s Birthday in 1987, but the film reels were nearly destroyed in a fire. The screenplay went on to be the basis for True Romance (1993).
QT has two types of scripts that he writes. See what they are next…
Tarantino said that he writes two types of scripts: “Movie Movie” and “Realer than Real World”. He explained that those who live in the “Realer than Real World” universe would want to watch those in the “Movie Movie” universe.
His films in the “Movie Movie” genre are unrealistic, while the movies like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs can be categorized under “Realer than Real World”. And speaking of film scripts, did you know that Tarantino wrote Inglourious Basterds in between writing his films Jackie Brown and the Kill Bill movies?
Tarantino likes to leave 20% of the movie ‘unseen’. For example, choosing not to show you what’s in the suitcase in Pulp Fiction. He says this creates a sense that “the movie is really yours.” For those of you who loved the film, here are some fun facts…
All of the clocks in the pawn shop are set to 4:20. And the suit bought in Jackie Brown is the same as the one worn by Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman’s character). Oh, and the ‘Bad Mother F*cker’ wallet seen actually belonged to Quentin.
The Band-Aid on Ving Rhame’s neck in the movie was not aesthetic: he had a shaving accident which Tarantino went with it. And Mr. Blonde’s (a character from Reservoir Dogs) real name is Vic Vega, which is the same surname as Vincent’s in Pulp Fiction.
Pulp Fiction has been mentioned by many critics as one of the best films of all time. Did you know that Tarantino was thanked in Nirvana’s “In Utero”? But his name was spelled differently. Later, Tarantino thanked Nirvana on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack and included ‘RIP Kurt’.
Ever wonder what hobbies Tarantino has?…
Tarantino is known for disapproving of brand placements in films and instead creates imaginary brands to replace them in his own. These include the infamous Kahuna burger, as well as Red Apple Cigarettes, G.O. Juice, Jack Rabbit Slims, and Teriyaki Donuts.
He’s quite eccentric as a filmmaker. The majority of his movies contain at least one scene involving women’s feet and has said in an interview that he enjoys filming feet. Also, all of his feature films include scenes set in restaurants.
When you have as much money as he does, you can afford to not have ad placements. He’s now reportedly worth $90million. Amazingly, he used to be so poor he couldn’t pay for his parking tickets and had to serve time for it!
He said: “I was actually in jail three different times for tickets. I was picking up some dialogue, but I wasn’t in there for that. It was easier when you’re broke to do the time.”
Tarantino’s mother wasn’t like other moms. She would let him watch movies with adult content, such as Carnal Knowledge and Deliverance when he was young. It might have even shaped his future taste in movies. And perhaps his work…
When he was a teenager, he got a job ushering at an adult theater in Torrance, called the Pussycat Theater. He got the job only because he lied about his age.
His youth was full of quirky moments…
When Quentin was 14 years old, he wrote one of his earliest works, a screenplay called “Captain Peachfuzz and the Anchovy Bandit,” where a thief steals pizzas from a pizzeria. Then the summer after his 15th birthday, his mother actually disciplined him…
Tarantino was grounded for shoplifting Elmore Leonard’s novel “The Switch from Kmart.” He was only allowed to leave the house to go to the Torrance Community Theater where he participated in plays like Romeo and Juliet.
Leonardo DiCaprio actually requested to play the role of Calvin Candie in “Django Unchained” and Tarantino re-wrote the character to become younger to accommodate him. He said in an interview: “He got [the script] and really liked Calvin Candie. Leo was younger than I had initially written, but I read it again and could see no reason why the character couldn’t be younger.”
“And since I’m hitting hard this notion of the American South re-creating European aristocracy in this amateur make-it-up-as-you-go-along fashion, the nothing of him as the boy emperor was cool.”
Tarantino has spoken about his hatred of racism, and he claimed that Calvin Candie, the central villain in Django Unchained played by DiCaprio, is the only character he’s written that he’s hated. He’s said: “I hated Candie and I normally like my villains no matter how bad they are. I can see their point of view.”
“I could see his point of view, but I hated it so much. For the first time as a writer, I just f*#$ing hated this guy.” Tarantino has been friends with DiCaprio for around 15 years and during this time has sent his a script of his latest films “just in case” he wanted to act in them.
Do you know how many awards QT has? See next…
Quentin was supposed to direct an episode of “The X-Files“, but refused to join the Director’s Guild of America. The Guild refused his request for a waiver so that he could direct the series. So that never ended up happening.
But he does have some hopes for a directing project before he retires. He said that he enjoys the James Bond films and that he would like to direct one at some point. He’s only got a few years left if he wants to retire by 60!
Did you know he directed an episode of ER?
He directed an episode of ER called ‘Motherhood’ in 1994. He said: “I didn’t want to stand out. Everyone else was wearing all that crap. I wanted to fit in. I didn’t want to be the odd man out. I wanted to be inside, not on the outside. When I was directing the ER thing, the emergency room guys wore the green scrubs. I wore those for a few days. Then, I wore the blue scrubs, which were the surgeons’, for a few days.”
“When I wore the nurse’s pink scrubs, though, that’s when I became a hero on the set. The nurses didn’t think I was going to throw in with them. I ended the episode, the last two days, wearing the nurses’ scrubs. When I walked on the set all the nurses applauded me.”
Quentin’s friend Robert Rodriguez scored the soundtrack for “Kill Bill” for $1! In return, Tarantino directed a scene in Rodriguez’s film “Sin City” for the same price. That’s what friends are for right?
Were you a fan of Kill Bill? QT insisted the blood effects used in the movie were the same used by Chang Cheh, a pioneer of Chinese cinema: they were small bags filled with fake blood that burst upon impact. Over 450 gallons on fake blood were used in both Kill Bill films.
When he said that “realer than real world” was the type of film he likes to make, he wasn’t joking. Even when it comes to blood in his films, he wants to be as realistic as possible. On the set of “Reservoir Dogs“, he went through unique measures to ensure it was realistic.
A paramedic was kept on the set of Reservoir Dogs to ensure that the amount and consistency of Mr. Orange’s blood loss was realistic. A paramedic would know more than he would, that’s for sure.
Tarantino delayed the production of “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” for a few months when Uma Thurman became pregnant. He refused to recast her, as he had written the role specifically for her, based on an idea the two conceived on the set of Pulp Fiction.
QT is quite a loyal friend. Despite the constant comparison between him and director Paul Thomas Anderson, he considers his fellow director to be one of his best friends. In fact, Tarantino has praised Anderson’s work, calling him a “filmmaking artist.”
We bet you didn’t know that Quentin was production assistant for a workout video by Dolph Lundgren called “Maximum Potential.” It only sounds like a parody scene that he would feature in one of his films!
Another fun fact is that he likes to collect old board games having to do with television series as “I Dream of Jeannie“, “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “The A-Team“. Everyone has hobbies. So why can’t a filmmaker obsess with gore be a fan of board games too?
Quentin Tarantino reportedly fought off two burglars who broke into his Hollywood home recently. Apparently, he had been resting at home on a Sunday night when two men attempted to rob him.
Law enforcement claimed Tarantino confronted the two thieves who fled after stealing his jewelry. He isn’t the only one victim to home invasions in the last year, with rappers Wiz Khalifa and Post Malone, as well as Bella Thorne, all reported their properties were robbed.
Maya Hawke, the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, has been cast in Tarantino’s next film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood“. The cast of the film is nothing short of star-studded, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Al Pacino.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set in 1969 Los Angeles and follows struggling stars Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), the former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt). Judging by his previous work, this film is going to be a surefire hit.
Let’s go through some lesser-known facts about your favorite Tarantino movies…
Apparently, the idea behind the movie grew out of his desire to buy a Volvo. In a 2007 interview, Tarantino explained: “About 10 years ago, I was talking to a friend about getting a car. And I wanted to get a Volvo because I wanted a really safe car. I remember thinking that I didn’t want to die in some auto accident like the one in Pulp Fiction.”
“So I was talking to my friend about this, and he said, ‘Well, you could take any car and give it to a stunt team, and for $10,000 or $15,000, they can death-proof it for you.’ Well, that phrase ‘death proof’ kinda stuck in my head.”
Tarantino wrote the script for the film and his friend Robert Rodriguez directed it. He got paid for $1,500 for the script. He wrote the From Dusk Till Dawn as a way to showcase the talents of a special effects company called KNB.
In return, KNB agreed to provide the special effects for the “ear scene” in Reservoir Dogs free of charge. And we all know which scene that was. Remember how he had a paramedic on set? That was a major scene that needed realistic amounts of blood.
Well, kind of. The narrative structure of the movie doesn’t play in chronological sequence, but it’s easy enough to break it down into seven distinct sections (a prologue, an epilogue, two preludes, and three large segments).
That said, it can then be re-ordered into a chronological narrative if you really want to. And it looks like someone already has and made the infographic you see here to explain, to every little detail, how to do it.
Tarantino gave a copy of The Hateful Eight script to only a few people in his inner circle. But one of the scripts got leaked and was eventually posted in its full version online. Subsequently, Tarantino stopped the project and filed a lawsuit against the company that leaked it.
He later changed his mind and decided to go through with making the movie. It’s also really long, at 3 hours and 7 minutes. It’s one of Tarantino’s longest movies to date. Those in the theatre probably went for popcorn refills.
In “Inglourious Basterds“, Michael Fassbender plays Lt. Archie Hilcox, an Englishman who goes undercover as a German and is discovered because he cannot hide his Britishness. Fassbender was born in Germany, raised in Ireland, and resides in London.
German is actually his first language and English is his second. He’s also a master of English accents and dialects. Talk about an ironic role to play for an actor of such talents!
See what was stolen after the making of Pulp Fiction, next!
Vincent Vega’s 1964 Chevelle Malibu in the movie “Pulp Fiction” was stolen after finishing the shoot and it wasn’t found until nearly two decades later! Two cops found a pair of kids stripping an older car and, after matching the Vehicle Identification Number, found out it was Tarantino’s car.
By the way, “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction” contain some pretty vulgar language, with 269 and 265 uses of the F-word respectively. “Pulp Fiction” took the F-word crown for the year 1994, that’s for sure.