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    John Travolta Landed His Iconic ‘Pulp Fiction’ Role By Playing Board Games And Discussing Finances With Quentin Tarantino

    John Travolta is best known for his iconic role as Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction‘. While the movie is still widely lauded as one of the most commendable pieces of filmmaking, it is also an important opportunity for many involved in its production. Tarantino, being a picky director with a perfectionist approach to his work, had naturally put a lot of thought into choosing the cast for his iconic film.

    But John Travolta has a different story to tell. Speaking at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival’s 30th-anniversary screening of the movie, Travolta recalled how he landed a role in the film. Accompanied by his co-stars Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, and Samuel L. Jackson, the actor narrated a story as fascinating as his character in the film.

    Related: How Bruce Willis Got Cast In Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’?

    John Travolta Narrates The Fascinating 24 Hours That He Spent With Quentin Tarantino

    'Pulp Fiction'
    ‘Pulp Fiction’

    Though he was already in Quentin Tarantino’s vision for the perfect lead for the cult classic ‘Pulp Fiction, John Travolta made his way into the iconic film in the most unconventional way possible. He met Tarantino — who had yet to make it big in Hollywood — in his own old Hollywood apartment.

    I spent almost 24 hours with Quentin initially because I got a call from an agent that said, ‘There’s a young new director, who made Reservoir Dogs, and he’s desperate to meet you. You’re his favorite actor and he wants to do something with you,'” Travolta recalled while speaking to TCM host Ben Mankiewicz.

    So I went to this apartment on 1236 Crescent Heights Boulevard in Hollywood, and I said, ‘This is very familiar.’ And I knocked on his door and I said, ‘Don’t say a word. If you go left, it’s the living room and the kitchen is attached. If you go right, it’s a bedroom.’ He said, ‘How do you know that?’ I said, ‘I used to live here.’ So, we were off and running,” Travolta added.

    It is perhaps this conversation that sparked the chemistry between the actor-director duo and made Tarantino instantly impressed with Travolta.

    Recalling what happened during the rest of the 24 hours that the spent together, John Travolta said the director unveiled a collection of board games based on Travolta’s iconic projects. It had everything ranging from ‘Saturday Night Fever‘ to ‘Welcome Back Kotter’. Tarantino also subtly urged Travolta to channel his past characters during the gameplay, which was seemingly a way of checking if he was the right for the ‘Pulp Fiction‘ character he had in mind. Playing the games together further solidified the compatibility between the two.

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    Quentin Tarantino And John Travolta’s Relationship Was Cemented In The First 24 Hours Of Their Meeting

    John Travolta

    After the games, Travolta also decided to show some interest in Tarantino’s well-being and financial situation. “I thought, ‘Okay, I don’t know this boy, but I need to know how he’s doing financially,'” he said. “So I went through his finances with him. I said, ‘Okay, now you’re an up-and-coming artist. You have to have some reserves. Tell me how much you have,” Travolta said, recalling that the conversation made him feel better.

    It was then that Tarantino saw in Travolta not just a talented actor, but also a man with the necessary analytical and philosophical depth that was a prerequisite for playing Vincent Vega’s character. Speaking about Tarantino’s decision to cast him a week later, Travolta recalled asking him, “What did you see in me that could convince you that I could play this role?”

    He said, ‘It was you helping me with my finances. You had this analytical, theoretical, philosophical viewpoint that I need for that character.’ He said, ‘I want him to be thoughtful about whatever he’s gone through.’ And that was it,” Travolta added during the interview.

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    Aishwarya
    Aishwaryahttps://firstcuriosity.com/
    Aishwarya is a Senior Sub-Editor at First Curiosity. Working as a news writer for over 3 years, she has written on an array of things for a couple of media houses in different capacities. With writing as her outlet, she is now exploring the world of art and glamour. She has previously been associated with ETV Bharat and India Today as part of national editorial teams. With a fair share of work done covering national and international issues, she is now navigating through her abilities in the field of films and art. A movie and TV show buff, Aishwarya at First Curiosity tries to bring forth what a layman's eye might easily miss out on. Her flair for words and ability to convey what's between the lines are her biggest strengths. Her love for films and writing stems from her fondness for words and all things artsy. An avid reader and writer alike, Aishwarya likes to delve into any and all forms of art. When not tapping on her keyboard churning out articles, she can be found staring at books or screens, trying to find stories that'll help her explore the world and its portrayal through art better.
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