Quentin Tarantino has influenced more movies in his five directorial outings than most filmmakers manage in a whole career. Joyfully embracing the styles of a wide variety of pop culture icons, the 41-year old has brought us Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. In addition he wrote True Romance and Natural Born Killers, as well as being cast in a handful of acting roles.
After a break of six years between Jackie Brown and Kill Bill Vol. 1 how was it getting back on set again?
I can imagine that I was rather possessed on this movie. I guess I see myself more like a mountaineer climbing Mount Everest, just trying to get to the top to put my flag in there.
Is this the last we'll see of these characters, or will you return to them in some form or other?
I spent all this time writing the script, coming up with this mythology, so I kind of know all the different stories that happen in here. I'm toying with the idea of doing some graphic novels, to follow the stories of some of the other Deadly Vipers maybe. I've thought about the idea of writing a complete anime feature about how Bill became Bill. That would deal with him from the ages of 12 to 20 or something like that, and those three Godfathers of his: Esteban Vihaio, Hattori Hanzo and Pei Mei. I also thought that maybe 15 years from now I might do a sequel to these two movies that would follow Vernita Green's daughter as she tries to get revenge on the Bride.
You give every impression in what you say and what you do that you are not someone overly troubled with self doubt.
I don't really have that much doubt when it comes to movies that I'm trying to do. If I did I guess I wouldn't do them or I would be more skittish about it. It's not out of arrogance or anything. I'm a movies man making stuff I want to see. Maybe it's something nobody else but me wants to see, but as far as I'm concerned I want to see it, so if I'm making it in those terms I'll be happy. But I'm betting there's other people like me out there.
Does anything on screen ever gross you out?
In my films? No, no, no. In other films yeah, I guess there's been some gross stuff. I was watching an episode of Jackass where Johnny Knoxville put some live leeches in his mouth and I started gagging. Aarrgh! And I remember when I saw Monty Python's Meaning Of Life, with that fat guy who does all the puking. That was really gross. I remember sitting in the movie theatre thinking right then that if somebody vomited and I smelt it while I was watching this scene I would hurl. But that's the only time I started getting queasy in a movie.
You have spent a lot of time and effort getting your cast fighting fit in these two movies. Which of them do you think would win in a fight?
The thing is you have to remember that nobody really learned real martial arts, they learned movie martial arts. When it comes to movie martial arts Uma's hands down the best because she had to learn it all. Everybody else got to specialise while Uma had to learn everybody else's style. She had to learn how to handle the sword, she had to learn how to do Wushu, she had to learn how to do full on, correct Japanese Samurai style. She had to kick ass with Daryl [Hannah] in that trailer, and kick ass with Vivica [A Fox] in the house. She had to learn everything. So when it comes to movie kung fu Uma's the best.
But during the training period you obviously weren't going to deprive yourself the opportunity of joining in, were you?
One of my favourite things about watching kung fu movies over the years was those animal styles. So I wasn't going to have all these girls who don't give a damn about this stuff go through three months of training without me, when that's what I've always wanted to do since I was a kid. So I learned the Eagle's Claw and the Eagle style.