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Film

Steve Buscemi reveals his favourite memory of Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino has worked with multiple iconic actors over the course of his career, beginning from his very first film, Reservoir Dogs. While his most recent project – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – starred the likes of Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, it is very difficult to surpass Reservoir Dogs‘ star-studded cast featuring Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi among others.

Reservoir Dogs is widely cited as one of the best directorial debuts of all time because of its irreverent energy and stylised vision of cinema. The film that paved the way for future masterpieces like Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, Reservoir Dogs introduced the world to Tarantino’s unique aesthetic framework for cinematic violence.

For his very first project, Tarantino decided to take the genre conventions of the heist film apart by focusing on the surrounding events such as the quirky conversations before the action as well as the bloody aftermath. Utilising postmodern narrative structures and extensive pop culture references, Reservoir Dogs contained precursors to all of Tarantino’s famous trademarks.

Before embarking on this endeavour, Tarantino was mentored by none other than Terry Gilliam at a Sundance workshop where he discovered the importance of assembling an extremely talented filmmaking crew. Tarantino also met Buscemi at a Sundance workshop where the director impressed the actor with his insane energy levels.

Although Tarantino was initially set to play the role that Buscemi got in Reservoir Dogs, the actor delivered a “killer audition” that convinced Tarantino to cast him. It ended up becoming the perfect choice since Buscemi’s work in Reservoir Dogs is among the greatest performances from his illustrious filmography.

During an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit, Buscemi was asked to share his favourite memories of working with Tarantino. The actor responded by praising the director’s enthusiasm for filmmaking and his passion for creating art, claiming that Tarantino’s infectious energy spread among all members of the production.

Buscemi said: “He was SO excited to be making a film. And… to be directing his first film. In rehearsals, the rehearsals were just as exciting as the filmmaking! He would set up – this whole improvisation of us robbing the jewellery store, so that we would improvise and act out what went wrong. He just had, you know, has a lot of joy, in him! And it was – it made all of us also feel like we were working on our first film.”

In a conversation with Tarantino, Buscemi also spoke about how Tarantino had scared everyone before the filming began by talking about random shots and his plans for tracking shots among other things. However, he developed a coherent plan when the time arrived. “When we were really shooting the movie you still had all that energy, but you were much more focused,” Buscemi noted.

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