Ep. 3 No Travolta, no Pulp Fiction

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Artwork by Jordan McLaughlin

Tarantino and writing partner Roger Avary are holed up in a coffeehouse in Amsterdam, furiously writing amidst a haze of bottomless coffee and potent weed. His messy finished script was trimmed and toned, and Miramax loved it. But who would be cast? Cut to: A Saturday Night Fever board game with John Travolta in a ratty Hollywood apartment that would energize Travolta’s stalled career. But Miramax wanted Daniel Day Lewis. “If I can’t cast Travolta, I’m not making the movie,” Tarantino said. Bruce Willis signs on, and Samuel L. Jackson comes astonishingly close to losing the role of a lifetime. For the femme fatale, Tarantino had seen almost everybody, but it was Uma Thurman who had the bare feet which stole the role. Now it was time to shoot Pulp Fiction, and the world would never be the same again.

More FADE IN: Quentin Tarantino

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Mark Ramsey