GQ: How did you spend your time off between Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight? Quentin Tarantino: Usually, when I’m done, I want to spend two months on my couch – I want to pretty much nail the door shut, fuck the phone and go to sleep whenever. I have a completely erratic sleeping schedule.
GQ: Legend has it you penned Pulp Fiction in Amsterdam with no phone. Are those the conditions you need to write? QT: No, I don’t need to go anywhere to write. It can be fun. I have a mobile phone and the only person who has the number is my girlfriend. Because I don’t need anyone to call as I’m walking down the street or driving from hill to dale. My landline is my phone, and so I unplug it, or I don’t listen to it for a while. I’m good. I’ll play some of the messages. I’ll hear them when they come in.
GQ: That doesn’t cause anxiety?
QT: No, no. My problem is the opposite. It causes me no anxiety whatsoever. A lot of people fgure that’s my problem: I have no anxiety about shutting the world out.
GQ: How does something like The Hateful Eight emerge from that process? QT: I liked the idea of creating a new pop-culture, folkloric-hero character that I created with Django, that I think’s gonna last for a long time. And I think as the generations go on and everything, you know, my hope is it can be a rite of passage for black fathers and their sons. Like, when are they old enough to watch Django Unchained? And when they get old enough – 14 or 15 or something like that – then maybe it’s something that they do with their fathers, and it’s a cool thing.
GQ: Are you competitive as a director? QT: I’m not competitive as a director. But the thing about it is, if I win a third screenwriting Oscar, I will tie with Woody [Allen]. I can’t beat Woody until I tie with him.
GQ: And you want to beat him?
QT: I want to have more original-screenplay Oscars than anybody who’s ever lived.
GQ: You’re on film number eight. How could you plan to make only two more after this? QT: Hopefully it’s like I’m getting down to the tip of the arrowhead – I’m getting better and better. And that means I still have two more to go. All right? And two more to go is gonna be six years, at least. But we’ll see what happens. And you know, if that tenth flm is a stinker, well, maybe the plan goes into the house fan. You know, in shreds. But so far so good. GQ: So many people who had early success in this industry burnt out. How did you avoid that happening? QT: I worked too long to be here. I mean, I had such incredible good luck and fortune to make Pulp Fiction and just, in this weird pocket of time, that it could be appreciated for what it was. If I’m gonna fuck that up, I don’t really deserve to have any of this. But I was never afraid of the burnout scenario that you described. I was more afraid of like – I didn’t want to open up a shingle and a shop and now I’m a factory. You know, I do my movie that I do every two or three years, but then I produce a bunch of stuff, and my name’s always out there, ‘Quentin Tarantino Presents’ this movie, that movie, and I’m rewriting this, because they’ll pay lots of money, I do a two-week dialogue polish on Transformers 3, this and that and the other, and I keep making money, and I’m, like, you know, giving my special magic well water away to these people. And now all of a sudden my name doesn’t mean jack fucking shit.
GQ: Cool, we follow [we don’t]. Back in the ’90s, you approached the press cycle like a actor would – and you became famous. Ever lived to regret that decision? QT: I joke I’m not really that famous, I’m just that recognisible. If you know what I look like then you’re gonna know me when you see me. But no, I wanted me to be enough when I’m making a movie. I didn’t want to have to go out and get a star who respected my movies, I wanted to be enough to get it made and if I get a star, well, that’s all really great. The Hateful Eight is in cinemas now
THE AUTEUR’S NEW FILM, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, IS, HIS WORDS, “A CLAUSTROPHOBIC SNOW WESTERN”. CUE EXPECTATION AND SOLID SCREEN TIME FOR KURT RUSSELL.