10 Things You Didn’t Know About Quentin Tarantino

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It isn’t long ’til Quentin Tarantino‘s seventh movie Django Unchained hits theatres, and going by the early reactions it’s looking to be a doozy. After he’s brought us defining works in the gangster, blaxploitation, samurai, war and slasher genres, we’re practically giddy to see just what Tarantino has done with the spaghetti western. So whilst we wait for Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz to don their cowboy hats and ride out to meet Leonard DiCaprio, we’ve put together a list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about Quentin Jerome Tarantino to help pass the time. We won’t count his middle name – “Jerome” – as something you didn’t know.


1. Tarantino’s father is an actor/musician

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With his slick black hair and heavy eyebrows, Quentin Tarantino’s father looks like somebody who might get whacked in an episode of The Sopranos, though it may be surprising to learn that the director’s father is, in fact, an actor (and musician). Tony Tarantino – boasting a far cooler name than his son – was born in Brooklyn, New York, and founded a film production company (“Tarantino Productions”) in 1958 with his father Dominic (Quentin’s grandfather, a WW2 veteran).

Speaking about his father in 2010, Quentin Tarantino said: “I never knew my father. That’s the thing. I never knew him. He wanted to be an actor. Now he’s an actor only because he has my last name. But he was never part of my life. I didn’t know him. I’ve never met him.”

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2. Tarantino lost his virginity at 16 (and worked at a video store until he was 26)

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Even though he worked in an L.A. video store ’til he was 26-years-old (and then spent time after that cleaning up dog poop as a production assistant on a Dolph Lundgren workout video), Tarantino claims to have lost his virginity at 16. Looking back on his long career as a video store clerk, Tarantino admitted: “22 is about the time when you should be working in a video store… 5 years later is when I started feeling like a loser. 22 is okay. 26 is something else.”

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3. Tarantino has an I.Q of 160 – but only according to his mom

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Despite the fact that Tarantino left school in the ninth grade (he was sixteen after being held back a year) and can’t spell for shit (his screenplays are littered with grammatical errors and bizarre spelling mistakes), Quentin Tarantino is actually a certified genius – well, according to his mom, anyway.

It’s actually a pretty “well-known” fact that Tarantino has an I.Q. of 160, but during an appearance on The Howard Stern show in 1997, Tarantino revealed that he doesn’t remember ever taking an I.Q. test and that the whole 160 thing comes from something his mom told him (Charles Darwin had an I.Q. of 165). There’s actually no evidence out there which makes this thing true.

When Stern asked him a couple of questions from an I.Q. test during the interview, Tarantino got them both wrong. So maybe it’s time to put this particular rumor to bed: Tarantino doesn’t have a confirmed I.Q of anything (and he doesn’t know what a prime number is either).

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4. Tarantino dated Sofia Coppola – and there’s a double movie reference to prove it!

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At some point between 2002-2004, Quentin Tarantino hooked up with Francis Ford Coppola’s filmmaker daughter Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides), though the two amicably split soon afterwards (Tarantino even voted for her to win at the Golden Lion at The Venice Film Festival in 2010, which she did).

However, there’s a neat little nod to this former relationship that film fans have been eager to point out ever since – both their 2003 movies Kill Bill, Vol 1. and Lost In Translation are set in Japan, and both contain a Japanese character called “Charlie Brown.” Utter coincidence, or a cool reference to the fact they were dating at the time?

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5. Tarantino freakin’ adores rockabilly music

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There’s good reason why True Romance‘s Clarence is such a huge Elvis Presley fan – so much so that the character admits he’d like to screw the world’s most famous musician in the film’s first five minutes, apparently channelling the deep dark desires of his creator. “About eighteen-years-old, I got waaaay into rockabilly music,” Tarantino once revealed during an interview. “I just fancied myself. I was like the second coming of Elvis Presley. I dyed my hair black.”

Tarantino even played an Elvis impersonator in an episode of The Golden Girls after writing on his resume that he was a natural. Don’t worry – it isn’t true at all.

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6. Tarantino was originally going to play Pai Mei in Kill Bill, Vol. 2

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In a bizarre revelation that we’re glad didn’t amount to anything, Tarantino recently revealed that he was originally set to play Asian martial arts master Pai Mei in Kill Bill, Vol. 2, a part that (thankfully) went to Gordon Liu.

“I’d trained to do the fights and everything,” Tarantino said. “But it was such a big-deal movie that it needed all my attention directing. When I was done with it, I decided that if I’m going to be on a set, I want it to be my set, with me directing. I don’t want to be an actor in somebody else’s movie.”

Though a casting decision like this would have surely brought something, uh… else… to the table, we can’t imagine Tarantino taking on a role like Pai Mei without it being completely laughable. A long white beard and massive eyebrows is the last thing the guy needs.

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7. Tarantino has done jail time

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Before he was all rich and famous, Tarantino ran up parking ticket fees of around $7000 and ended up in L.A. county jail for 10 days. “I was actually in jail three different times for tickets,” Tarantino revealed. “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.” Picking up some dialogue? Yep, the man was definitely destined to be a writer.

And that’s not the only time Tarantino got himself in trouble with the law: at 15, he was arrested for stealing an Elmore Leonard novel. Ironically, he’d go on to make Jackie Brown from an Elmore Leonard novel, so the whole ordeal was probably worth it – granted that Tarantino got to keep that book.

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8. Tarantino got offered a job directing Men in Black

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Though Quentin Tarantino was originally rumored to be teaming up with Will Smith for Django Unchained, there might’ve been a point when these two cinematic forces could’ve come together for another reason – Men in Black. The cult classic (about a secret government agency assigned to protect the planet from acknowledging that aliens live among us) was offered to Tarantino off the back of his success with Reservoir Dogs. And although Barry Sonnenfeld’s movie was a big hit and proved popular with audiences, it would have been cool to see what Tarantino might’ve conjured up.

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9. Tarantino claims to be the reason that Casino Royale got made

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Although we’ll never know how true this particular notion is, Quentin Tarantino has assured that he’s the defining reason that the Daniel Craig James Bond movie Casino Royale got made back in 2006.

“The reason they did Casino Royale all comes down to me,” the director said. “I said I wanted to do Casino Royale. They were already on record as saying the movie was unfilmable but then after I said it and talked about it for a little bit — then the big thing on all the internets was that that was what all the fans wanted to see.”

Tarantino also insisted that he would have made the film with Pierce Brosnan instead of Daniel Craig. Not sure we agree with you on that one, Quentin, but the results would’ve been mighty interesting.

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10. Leonardo DiCaprio personally requested his role in Tarantino’s Django Unchained

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We often assume that directors get in touch with actors they feel would be right for certain parts (especially directors like Quentin Tarantino), although in the case of Django Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio called Tarantino after reading the script and enquired about the part of Calvin Candie. The two had been hanging out on and off for 15 years or so, and Tarantino made a habit of sending DiCaprio his scripts (just in case).

“He got this one [Django Unchained] and really liked Calvin Candie,” Tarantino told Playboy earlier this year. “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 notion of him as the boy emperor was cool.”

We think so too.

Enjoy this article? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.  

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  • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

    Didn’t know about the Men in Black one. Would have been weird…

    • http://www.facebook.com/marthamuhfugginstewart Justin Buell

      Agent K: You read the Bible J?
      Agent J: Not really.
      Agen K: Well you see, there’s this passage I’ve got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17….

  • ehhhhh

    “Though Will Smith was originally rumoured to be teaming up with Will Smith”


  • GoonerYoda

    He also wrote the Silver Surfer scene in Crimson Tide.

  • GoonerYoda

    He also wrote the Silver Surfer scene in Crimson Tide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AaronKelly81 Aaron Kelly

    I got this… Foot Fetish Foot Fetish Foot Fetish Foot Fetish Foot Fetish is all I can think about when it comes down to Quen.

    • jwilson1717

      Definitely… Uma Thurman twisting barefoot in Pulp Fiction, the foot massage debate in that same movie, Quentin leering at Juliette Lewis doing her nails in Dusk Til Dawn, and The Bride’s “Wiggle Your Big Toe” scene… it all adds up.

      • Cody W

        Dont forget about Walts puttin the shoe on that hot german chick in Basterds…that was an unnecessarily long scene.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jessiehermitt Jessie Hermitt

        AND Salma sticking her foot in his mouth in “that scene” in Dusk Til Dawn. *rawr*

        • #Truth

          Which was written only AFTER he cast Salma as the part — within 24 hours of her agreement to play the vamp queen, the wine/foot/toe sucking scene was cemented into From Dusk Til Dawn.

    • Gina25

      YEs. This story was both on the cover of “SHIT PEOPLE KNEW FROM THE MID 90`s” and “DUHHHH” magazines!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Madpoe317 Christopher Wayne Thompson

    This was great also another fun fact, Before Tarantino had all his movie dough he drove a red Geo Metro….. and so do I

  • vangpo

    You forgot that Spike Lee is majorly jealous of QT’s success. Or is that fact too well known?

    • saneiac

      Lately, Spike Lee seems to be majorly jealous of every successful director not named Spike Lee.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tears.of.a.soldier Adam Nelsen

    If will smith played Django it would have been horrible…

    • Emmy

      Actually… I think Django would’ve been perfection if Will Smith was cast. He’s far more charismatic than Jamie Foxx, and instead of the character of Django being forgotten, Will could inject him with life to make him far more memorable and funny. Jamie Foxx was easily overshadowed by Christopher Waltz, but Will Smith would’ve been a knock out.

  • Danny

    I found it interesting . Some i knew , but most I didn’t

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.carrozzo Jeff Carrozzo

    QT is definitely one of my favorite directors, but an IQ of 160 and NO official documentation? Come on …