Quentin Tarantino’s Angry Interview

Written by Brad Phillips @MrMediaTraining on January 14, 2013 – 6:02 AM

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has been making violent (but well-received) movies for the past two decades.

His latest effort, Django Unchained, is the latest in a long line of bloody films. But unlike other Tarantino movies, Django was released less than two weeks after the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which spurred a new national conversation about the role of violence in our culture.

Given that context, it’s unsurprising that reporters would ask Tarantino about the extreme violence in his films. But it’s clear from Tarantino’s answers in this interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Britain’s Channel 4 News that he was tired of answering the question. (The exchange begins at 2:40.)

Among other memorable lines, Tarantino testily told the reporter:

“Don’t ask me a question like that—I’m not biting. I refuse your question.”

“I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not a monkey.”

“I’m shutting your butt down.”

“It’s none of your damn business.”


But the most stunning part of this exchange wasn’t Tarantino’s tone (although that was quite something), but his defiance when he declared:

“I’m here to sell my movie. This is a commercial for my movie, make no mistake.”


That Tarantino views his interviewers as complicit in his marketing efforts may say more about the sycophantic press that normally interviews him than it does about him. But he seemed completely unaware of the difference between an obsequious entertainment scribe and a hard news reporter. And his answer revealed a lot about how Hollywood celebrities view the role of the entertainment press.

Tarantino’s responses were counterproductive. Had he answered the questions, even in an uninspired manner, the interview wouldn’t have gone viral. Instead, as usually happens when the subject of a news interview goes on the attack, he brought even more attention onto the very subject he was trying to avoid—the violence in his films.

A grateful h/t to reader Bob LeDrew

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Comments (4)

  1. By John Barnett:

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I do not count myself amongst Mr. Tarantino’s fans, so take that into consideration when I say … “Wow. I’m not sure if this is anger, arrogance or both.”

    It’s hard to say if the Hollywood folks do this sort of thing for the shock factor in hopes of greater buzz, because – as Brad says – they are disconnected from the reality of entertainment and hard news reporting, or a combination of both.

    Another thought that crosses my mind is lack of prep work. His reaction denotes no real answer prepared to explains his style of “great cinema” and its relationship to the violence that is leading most of the news right now. Maybe his fans DO understand his position on violence in cinema, but what about the rest of us? We don’t rate some insights from the movie director who appears to go thru prop blood by the barrel? (facetious hyperbole)

    And the fact that he tells the reporter that this interview is simply a commercial for his movie is telling of a sense of hubris that turned back to bite him.

    My take is he lost his cool, lost perspective on the type of interviewer, and lost the interview. He didn’t research his interviewer, and he didn’t prepare for an interview that anyone would expect to be filled with violence-related questions.

  2. By Kim M:

    I was unimpressed by his answers to even softball questions. He rambled, he gave unfocused answers. “Do black males really need THAT kind of hero?” was my immediate thought when he said he did it to give them a western hero.

    I’m not at all surprised by his tone or answers. I do respect most of his work, but he should stay in the director’s chair and out of the interviewee’s chair.

    And would someone please comb his hair?

  3. By Leigh Ann:

    I thought the reporter dealt with it well. He didn’t seem too rattled. Good point about the “commercial” comment.

  4. By Conrad:

    I wrote a similar thing about this in my blog – and like you believe there are clear ways he could have answered the question. I can only imagine his PR in the corner putting her/his head in their hands.

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