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Travolta and Tarantino

How Did Quentin Tarantino Save John Travolta’s Career?

Quentin Tarantino made his debut as a filmmaker in the early 1990s. His odd and sinister style along with his signature aesthetic for violence and long dialogues were the very reasons why he succeeded in the industry. But did you know, Tarantino actually saved John Travolta’s career with Pulp Fiction?

John Travolta’s career seemed like it was heading downhill by the mid-90s. Quentin Tarantino met up with him and had him recite some lines from his old films. By the end of the evening, he offered Travolta the part of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction.

The Fateful Meeting Between John Travolta and Quentin Tarantino

In an interview at the Supanova Comic-Con and Gaming event in 2019, John Travolta explains how one fateful meeting with the filmmaking genius, Quentin Tarantino, changed his life. Back in the mid-90s, Travolta knew his career was about to end. But the eccentric filmmaker asked him over to his house for some board games. During the course of the evening, Travolta read some lines for Tarantino and by the end of the evening, he was offered the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction.

I think I was at a point where I felt I had done well in my career, but I never imagined that one project could give me that kind of second career, where I was offered the ‘A’ scripts again and the Oscar contender typescripts. There weren’t many examples of that in the history of cinema, so I was very honored and privileged that I have that little niche.

John Travolta, Actor

Travolta will always be grateful to Tarantino for his role in Pulp Fiction, which helped him revive his career. (Source: NZ Herald)

Was John Travolta’s First Choice for the Role of Vincent?

John Travolta was not Tarantino’s first choice to play Vincent Vega. He actually wrote the part specifically for Michael Madsen, who had to pass up on the role because he had already signed on for another film called Wyatt Earp.

In a tweet, Tarantino revealed that he originally wanted a very different cast for the film. Don Winslow shared the rough cast list that showed the lead actors; John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson were actually the second choices for their roles. Tarantino originally wanted Michael Madsen and Laurence Fishburne. (Source: Dazed Digital)

How Well Did Pulp Fiction Do at the Box Office?

Unknown to most, Pulp Fiction was actually a low-budget film. The production worked with an estimated $8.5 million budget but cast so many big stars. They also spent around $10 million on marketing. 

While it may have been a risky move to do so, the film became a hit and earned $107.93 million at the US box office alone. It was the first independent film to have surpassed the $100 million mark. In addition, worldwide sales reached over $213 million (Souce: IMDB)

Quentin Tarantino on Leaving the Industry

Quentin Tarantino has directed some of the most well-known films of the previous three decades, yet he believes that his next movie will be his last. The director confirmed his plans to retire after his tenth film. He makes the surprising admission that he is reached the end of the road in terms of filmmaking.

I think when it comes to theatrical movies, I’ve come to the end of the road. I see myself writing books and starting to write theatre, so I’ll still be creative. I just think I’ve given all I have to give to movies.

Quentin Tarantino, Filmmaker

Tarantino has even hinted that if his upcoming film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, goes well, he will step down sooner. (Source: NZ Herald)

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