Welcome back to Behind The Scenes Saturday! Since Spooky Season ended, I decided to take a little break. It wasn’t a very good idea, because I’ve been having some trouble getting back on track. I decided this Saturday’s post would be all about Pulp Fiction! It’s one of Quentin Tarantino’s greatest films! Enjoy!
(Trivia provided by IMDb.com)
- The scene where Vincent Vega (John Travolta) has to plunge the syringe into Mia Wallace’s (Uma Thurman) chest was actually filmed in reverse. They filmed John pulling the syringe from her chest and played the scene backwards.
- The film’s director, Quentin Tarantino, confirmed that Butch (Bruce Willis) was the one who keyed Vincent’s car.
- Uma Thurman initially didn’t want to be in the film. However, Tarantino was determined to have her play Mia Wallace, so he called her and read the script to her over the phone. That finally convinced her to be a part of the film.
- Bruce Willis was a big fan of Reservoir Dogs, and his friend, Harvey Keitel (who played Mr. White in Reservoir Dogs and The Wolf in Pulp Fiction) was the one who convinced him to be a part of this film.
- Vic Vega, a.k.a. Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) in Reservoir Dogs and Vincent Vega in this film are actually brothers. A prequel to both films, called The Vega Brothers, was supposed to be filmed, but was ultimately scrapped when both actors became too old to play younger versions of themselves.
- Though the part of Jules was written specifically for Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Calderon nailed his audition and almost landed the role. When Jackson found out, he flew to L.A. to do a second audition to secure it. Calderon was given a smaller role, Paul the bartender.
- Tarantino kept debating over whether to play Jimmie or Lance. He finally decided on Jimmie because, during the overdose scene, he wanted to be behind the camera. So, the role of Lance went to Eric Stoltz.
- The role of Butch was originally an up-and-coming boxer played by Matt Damon. However, Damon didn’t commit, so Tarantino changed the character and offered it to Bruce Willis.
- There was a deleted scene that involved Jules debating on what to do while Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer) were robbing the diner. In the scene, he shoots Pumpkin from under his table, then shoots and kills Honey Bunny. As she falls down, her gun goes off and kills the Long Hair Yuppie-Scum (Lawrence Bender). The scene then cuts back to Jules conversing with Pumpkin, showing that all the killings in the diner were entirely in Jules’ mind.
- During the scene where Captain Koons (Christopher Walken) tells young Butch (Chandler Lindauer) about his dad and the gold watch, Walken paused at one point near the end of his story. Walken paused because he actually forgot his next lines. He ended up recovering in time to indicate the character paused on purpose. They liked the authenticity of the moment, so they kept it in the final film.
- Daniel Day-Lewis actually wanted to play Vincent Vega, but Tarantino denied in favor of John Travolta.
- Two of the segments were written by Tarantino before Reservoir Dogs and True Romance. His original intention was to have a different director for each segment.
- Pam Grier auditioned for the role of Jody (Rosanna Arquette). Tarantino decided not to cast her, because he couldn’t imagine Grier getting pushed around the way Jody does in the film. Grier was later cast as the strong titular role in Jackie Brown.
- Uma Thurman was very nervous about doing the dancing scene with a famed dancer like Travolta. When she talked to him about it, he told her to “shut up and twist.”
- One of the biggest debates is what was in Marsellus Wallace’s (Ving Rhames) briefcase. One of the most popular theories is that it contains Marsellus’s soul. Tarantino has left it up to the fans to decide what is in it. The prop itself just had a lightbulb and battery inside it.
- While out with Vincent, Mia tells him about the pilot she was in, Fox Force Five. While describing the other girls in the force, fans have speculated that she’s describing the female warriors in Kill Bill. She states, “There was the blonde one, she was the leader (Elle Driver, played by Daryl Hannah). The Japanese fox was a kung-fu master (O-Ren Ishii, played by Lucy Liu). The black girl was a demolition expert (Vernita Green, played by Vivica A. Fox). The French fox’s specialty was sex (Sofie Fatale, played by Julie Dreyfus). The character I played was the deadliest woman in the world with a knife (The Bride, played by Uma Thurman). If this was intentional foreshadowing, I think it’s brilliant!
- Another theory about the film is that Butch’s girlfriend, Fabienne (Maria de Medeiros) was pregnant with Butch’s baby. She talked about looking at herself in the mirror and imagining what she would look like with a potbelly. When she got out of the shower, she was going to tell Butch something, but dismissed it when she saw he was fast asleep. The next day, she talks about having a huge, unusual breakfast.
- Tarantino spent time in Amsterdam while writing the script for Pulp Fiction. That’s how he came up with the conversation that Vincent and Jules have in the beginning of the film.
- Steve Buscemi was almost up for the role of Jimmy, but he had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts. He had to take the smaller role of the Buddy Holly waiter in Jack Rabbit Slim’s.
- Originally, Phil LaMarr’s character, Marvin was supposed to get shot in the throat and die slowly and painfully. After getting shot in the throat and suffering, Vincent and Jules decide to shoot him in the head to put him out of his misery. Travolta was worried that would make the characters unlikable, so he went to Tarantino with the idea of Vincent accidentally shooting Marvin right in the head for an instant kill. Tarantino figured that the one shot kill would be funnier, so he agreed to the change. It was speculated for a while that LaMarr came up with the change, but he debunked this rumor.
- In the final scene, as the Diner’s owner starts to plead to Pumpkin, he says, “Please, I’m just a coffee shop-“ before getting interrupted by Pumpkin. As a gag, you can see the end credits credit the character as “Coffee Shop.”
- The cab driver, Esmerelda (Angela Jones) was not an original character created by Tarantino. She previously appeared in a short film called Curdled (1991), but her name was Gabriela. Tarantino was so intrigued by Gabriela, he included her in this film, changed her name to Esmerelda, and made her a cab driver.