10 Things You Didn’t Know About Quentin Tarantino6
By CT Goodson
Quentin Tarantino is one of Hollywood’s most successful all-around talents. He writes, produces and directs across several genres. He wins awards with every film and makes a ton of money.
It wasn’t always like that for him, though. Similar to Murder Squad‘s Ryan and Greg, two junior level agents who dream of being badass FBI agents but are stuck with the minutiae of desk work, Tarantino has had to put in his time in order to earn his success. Never losing sight of his goals when he started out as a Video Archives clerk, Tarantino has earned his place as the master of violent, cerebral, Asian-inspired cinema.
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1. Tarantino has more acting credits than directing credits
What is Tarantino most credited for in his movie career? Surprisingly, the answer is neither directing nor writing or even producing movies. Quentin Tarantino currently has more credits for acting listed than he does for any of the other talents that have made him a household name. More precisely, he has 27 acting credits listed at IMDB.com ranging from his gig as an Elvis impersonator in 1988 for the popular television sitcom, The Golden Girls, to the first scalped Nazi/American Soldier that appears in Nation’s Pride, the movie within a movie in 2009’s Inglourious Basterds (listed as uncredited).
2. He prefers non-name brands… other than his
Speaking of household names…his nickname is QT and his middle name is Jerome. Although his name and face may be easily recognizable and immediately connected, don’t expect him to use familiar brand names in his movies. He’d rather enchant his movie characters with a fictional product like the Red Apple cigarette than engage his audience in shameless product placement connections.
3. His first piece of work is on YouTube: My Best Friend’s Birthday
QT’s first body of work has never been officially released and is incomplete but has over 80,000 YouTube views as of this writing. Tarantino is credited with writing, directing, starring in and editing My Best Friend’s Birthday (1987). The black and white film was actually completed but exists in partial form due to a lab fire that destroyed the final reel during editing. Perhaps fans should be grateful that this divine intervention led him from editing to directing.
4. He has an IQ of 160
Although he left conventional school at the age of 16 to study acting, Tarantino is reported to have an IQ of 160. It is not surprising that he recalled, in an article he wrote for The Sunday Times, that he was adept at genre distinctions at a very young age. He wrote of his favorite childhood movie, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), “I remember having the thought: ‘These are the best movies ever! When it’s supposed to be funny, it’s really funny, and when it’s supposed to be scary, it’s really scary. I can’t believe they make movies like this!’ So, even as a really young child, I was making genre distinctions.” Tarantino so obviously pays tribute to this early influence of funny-funny-scary with his funny-funny-shocking Uma Thurman/Lucy Liu fight to the death scene in Kill Bill.
5. QT is a Dog-Father
Using the better part of his lifetime creating movie mayhem and mystique, Quentin Tarantino has not been married nor has he had children. He is, however, godfather to Hudson and Calvin Madsen, the two eldest sons of Michael Madsen (who portrayed Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs). Talk about playground bragging rights!
6. QT can play a tender man
Statistically, Tarantino’s films usually carry the highest numbers for body counts, gallons of fake blood, and “F” bombs. Ironically, QT sees himself as a versatile actor – often times playing a tender leading man. In the video Dance Me to the End of Love (1995), he portrays a tentative and possibly regretful groom on his wedding night. The fact that he wrote the short and starred in it is far more disturbing than what fans have come to expect from the master of aesthetic violence.
7. QT battled SuperCuts
Most people have previously heard that Quentin Tarantino worked at Video Archives viewing and stocking films before he started creating and collecting films. But how many people know that he has an interest in preserving classic movie theatres? In fact, Tarantino rescued the Los Angeles New Beverly Cinema from the clutches of SuperCuts in 2010. He is currently the owner of the property and makes programming suggestions but leaves the bookings of the films to the Torgan family, the original business owners. The Torgans revamped the original 1929 first run theater into a venue for independent, classic and foreign films.
8. QT has done time
Not just a maverick in filmmaking, Quentin Tarantino was a bit of an outlaw when he was just an aspiring filmmaker. Tarantino is reported to have spent 10 days in an L.A. County jail. According to AskMen.com, Quentin said of his arrest: “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.” Not so easy to come up with $7,000.00 for parking tickets before you’re as ridiculously famous and successful as he is now.
9. QT is loaded
Apparently, the choice of doing time or paying for his parking tickets is no longer a dilemma for Mr. Tarantino. With an estimated net worth of $90 million dollars (celebrityworth.com), Mr. Tarantino can now easily afford to park or be driven anywhere he wants as well as bail himself out of jail.
10. QT was a PA for Dolph Lundgren’s Maximum Potential
Dolph Lundgren’s 1987 motivational film, Maximum Potential, contributed to Tarantino’s Hollywood career. While Lundgren, who portrayed Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, and his film, may not have actually been the root of Tarantino’s motivation, they did provide Mr. Tarantino’s first Hollywood job as a production assistant. Not a glamorous position but definitely a means to a lifetime of prolific creativity.
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CT Goodson is a die-hard Chicago native, temporarily transplanted to a small, northern Illinois town. When she is not working at her day job managing office chaos, she is busy ingratiating herself to the agents of pop culture icons, which provides plenty of material for her own writing projects.