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Film

Why did Quentin Tarantino bite Black Eyed Peas singer, Fergie?

@TomTaylorFO

As it happens, long before the Black Eyed Peas started, Fergie started out as an actress. Of course, that by no means answers the question as to how Quentin Tarantino came to chow down on her, after all, directors don’t just have free reign to sample the flesh of their cast, but all will become slightly clearer, in due course.

Fergie began her career in the arts with her first credited role doing voiceover work in the Peanuts cartoon It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown about how the balding youth attends a disco and ends up berate Snoopy for oversleeping the next morning. Therein, she continued to straddle the world of music and acting as she made her way through the various youthful opportunities that Hollywood and beyond has to offer. 

Thus, when Robert Rodriguez set about making Planet Terror in 2007, he asked his casting agent for a female character “who looked really strong and has got real character to her and you could see the attraction,” his casting agent said, “Well, there’s this one girl, Fergie, she’s a singer, but she started as an actress and she’s come in and read for me several times and she’s really good, you should meet her.”

By this point, Fergie had already started scoring billboard topping singles beginning with the Black Eyed Peas ubiquitous debut Elephunk back in 2003. No doubt, that crossover appeal also assisted with the casting decision. She became Tammy in the grindhouse classic and ended up starring alongside Rodriguez’ good friend and fellow grindhouse buff Tarantino. Naturally, he played a zombie and Fergie was a tank top wearing woman on a mission. Whether his casting was akin to how he just so happened to star in the role he wrote of a character who has Salma Hayek’s foot in his mouth is anyone’s guess.

“As I was filming the scene when the Zombie attacked me,” Fergie recalls in the DVD Extra footage, “Quentin really got into it. I think he had a lot of fun with that,” she recalls with a wry smile. Remembering her deathly zombie pursuit with the green, brainless director, she adds: “He was doing the whole run with me, so it’s great because I look over and I see Quentin and I have to visualise this zombie-esque character and we kept having to re-do this scene because he was getting so into being this creature, that he was making all these noises.”

A true professional, Tarantino claimed that it was, in fact, his fellow zombies who were making the noises, but the extra’s footage alone clearly ousts him as the groaning brain-lusting lunatic who can’t keep quiet. “So, we’re doing the scene right,” she begins, as she recalls the famed mauling moment, “and he starts biting me!”

Robert Rodriguez later played down this playful chow as nothing more than “teeth on flesh,” but assured those watching the extras footage, “it wasn’t like a bite, she wasn’t bleeding,” and finally concluding, “hey, it happens, people get into their role.” All that being said, Fergie did have a bruise on her bicep to prove it and vowed to the camera: “Quentin fucking bit me, and by the end of this shoot I will bite him back.”

Lord knows if that payback nibble ever occurred, but the pair do seem pretty friendly throughout. While all seems kosher here, it is worth judiciously noting that it’s best to err on the side of caution with such Hollywood tales.

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