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Edition 3GMD FRI 03 OCT 2003, Page 14
Sex, drugs & violence;Exclusive;Interview;Quentin Tarantino
And that is just Tarantino’s personal life…
THERE are so many bodies in Quentin Tarantino’s new film Kill Bill
that even he lost count.
The cult director tried to list the number of deaths at the end of
each day’s filming - but failed miserably.
In an exclusive interview the man behind Pulp Fiction and Reservoir
Dogs told me yesterday: "We tried to keep count of the corpses but
"On the top of a sheet each day we’d have the word DEAD followed by
a number. We would recap every day - number dead, number maimed -
with a grand total underneath.
"But the big question was who was dead and who was wounded. It was,
‘OK, she’s cut off someone’s arm and there’s blood. It doesn’t mean
that he’s dead but a torso, definitely.’ It was fun but we lost
And if you think Tarantino’s movies are an orgy of sex and violence,
wait until you get a load of what goes on behind the camera.
He brags that off screen his life is all pills, punch-ups and
Tarantino, 40, openly admits that he went wild when cast and crew
visited China to film a samurai sword fight sequence for Kill Bill.
He says: "China is the ecstasy
capital of the world right now. The nightlife there is off the hook.
The bars are open all night.
"We worked six-day weeks and did a lot of partying on our day off.
When we finished shooting we would go out. We were up all night on
Saturdays and we would sleep all day on Sunday.
"The first time I went to the Great Wall it was like an all-night
rave. They had rock bands, fireworks. We were smoking pot and doing
E. It’s a great way to see it for the first time."
I’m talking to the director and Kill Bill’s stunning star, Uma
Thurman, in a suite at London’s Dorchester hotel.
The actress admits she wasn’t part of the wild scene.
She says: "I wasn’t included or invited to any of those mad drugs
parties. There were women involved I hear, but not me!"
Tarantino is animated and his face looks like a demented cartoon
Wild-eyed, thick-set and wearing loud, nerdy clothes, he throws his
arms up in the air and booms at the top of his whining voice.
But I wouldn’t mess with him. He has been arrested twice for drunken
behaviour and had his nipple bitten by a taxi driver during one brawl.
He says: "I don’t think I have a quick temper. Depending on how
thick the s*** gets, I’ll go all the way if I have to.
"The thing with the cab driver
happened when I was with a girl and he was really rude.
"I got into an argument with him. We were yelling at each other and
he said something about her.
"I went around the side of the cab and beat him up. Bouncers pulled
me off him and he drove away. He came back and I punched him. He took
a big bite out of me, right by my
nipple. What an a******."
Tarantino recently split with actress Mira Sorvino and women seem
drawn to him. He confesses he has become obsessed by raunchy letters
from fans detailing their sex fantasies.
He says: "The one thing I never expected - I really got a kick out
of it - was getting really sexy fan mail.
"I also get sex letters and those are pretty cool. Some of the
pictures and letters are brilliant.
"One girl sent me a can of tennis balls with a picture and a note
that said, 'Now you’ve got the balls, give me a call.'I did call her
but she was in St Louis, and I wasn’t going to travel. I followed up
on a few letters. One girl I’ll never forget. First she’s telling me
what movies she’d like to watch with me, talking like a cool film
geek kind of girl. Then she starts getting into dirty stuff.
"She mentions kissing for hours. Then she writes, ‘I want to dress
you in a French maid outfit and while I sit in a chair in a garter
belt and panties, smoking a cigarette, I’ll make you pick up every
piece of lint off the carpet. And I’m not going to be easy about it.’"
He adds: "When you become famous, it’s cool. I can go by myself into
a bar I’ve never been in before and in no time I’ll have a couple of
girls around me, if not more. I
usually go home with a couple of phone numbers - and I’m not asking
"If I go into a strip club now and play my cards right I can take
one of the strippers home.
"If I get a lap dance when it’s near to the end of the night and
they’re ready to close up, and the girl knows who I am, she’ll
probably ask if I want to go for coffee."
Kill Bill, which also stars Julie Dreyfus and Daryl
Hannah, had its premiere in London’s Leicester Square last night. It
is Tarantino’s first film for six years. It may not reach the high
standards of his earlier classics but it’s mind-blowing to look at
and 33-year-old Thurman steals the show.
She plays an assassin shot in the head on her wedding day who wakes
from a coma four years later hellbent on revenge.
Tarantino put the production on hold until pregnant Uma gave birth.
He says: “There’s no way I’d have considered anyone else. I had a lot
of calls - they’ll remain nameless - but the bottom line is that
without Miss Thurman, there would be no Kill Bill.” The film is in
two parts because Tarantino -
notorious for being unable to edit his own movies - had too much
footage and had run Pounds 6million over budget.
The follow-up, Kill Bill 2, is out next February. Tarantino says: "A
three hour film would have been a big, long, night out at the movies.
I’m a movie junkie so I could take it but if you’re not, you’d
Kill Bill is bloody brill - if you can take decapitation, sex with
coma victims, more guts than an abattoir during Christmas week, oh,
and Uma in a yellow leather catsuit.
You should chop someone’s head off for a ticket.