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Film

Watch behind-the-scenes footage of Quentin Tarantino and Bruce Willis on 'Pulp Fiction'

Pulp Fiction has often been regarded as one of the greatest cinematic landmarks of the 1990s. With that film, Quentin Tarantino provided sufficient proof of his undeniable talent which was evident in his treatment of the genre frameworks as well as his ability to master the art of writing cinematic conversations for the screen.

While Reservoir Dogs had contained the same elements and it even used them effectively, Pulp Fiction made them shine. Since Tarantino was a huge fan of the crime genre, he started out in the very same domain before eventually branching out into different areas such as revisionist war films and engaging westerns among others.

Starring the likes of John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis, Pulp Fiction featured a non-linear romp about the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles. When it was released, the film was compared to influential breakthroughs by other filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless and Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde.

During the production process, the film’s producers were counting on Tarantino to cast an instantly recognisable star. It was only when Harvey Keitel went to Bruce Willis’ house one day that this became a reality. “He mentioned that Quentin was getting ready to do another film,” Willis recalled while claiming that he was a huge fan of Reservoir Dogs.

According to the reports that surfaced, Willis was unhappy about the fact that John Travolta was going to play the lead while he was going to be tied up by a hillbilly. However, Willis maintained that he was very enthusiastic about the project from the beginning because his only motive was to work with Tarantino: “There’s a term for it in Hollywood: I don’t think it was ever about the money for anyone.

Tarantino also revealed that the casting of Bruce Willis actually ensured that Pulp Fiction got made. While other big actors such as Daniel Day-Lewis had also expressed their interest in starring in Pulp Fiction, Tarantino felt that the combination of actors such as Travolta, Jackson and Willis in their intersecting, fragmented storylines was the best way forward.

“Once I got Bruce Willis, Harvey got his big movie star, and we were all good,” Tarantino revealed, while explaining the production process, “Bruce Willis made us legit. Reservoir Dogs did fantastic internationally, so everyone was waiting for my new movie. And then when it was my new movie with Bruce Willis, they went apeshit.”

In this short behind-the-scenes clip from Pulp Fiction, Tarantino can be seen providing acting direction to Willis before an important scene. When the director asks him about the significance of Pulp Fiction, Willis correctly predicts that the project was the pinnacle of his career because he would go on to feature in terrible projects later on in his life.

Watch the clip below.