Hands down, Quentin Tarantino is an absolute legend. Some say he’s the best movie maker in recent history. Others even say he’s the best movie maker of all time. Either way, he’s the genius behind some of the best flics on the market, such as Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds, and Kill Bill. There’s just something about his movies that make them incredibly unique white-knuckle viewings.
But would we have all these amazing movies, and would Quentin Tarantino be who and what he is today if it wasn’t for a brief appearance in Golden Girls in a 1988 episode? What if he would have never been there? Where would that leave us today? Stick around and join us as we explore this intriguing counter-factual and the Hollywood history behind it.
From Rags to Dogs
Tarantino’s big break in the film industry came with the release of his 1992 movie Reservoir Dogs. If you haven’t seen the movie, we highly recommend that you do so as soon as possible because it’s a harrowing tale of crime gone wrong (does it ever go right though?), and it’s hands-down amazing. People loved the movie, and eventually, it gained major momentum and reached critical acclaim. The movie and its massive success paved the way for Tarantino’s subsequent winning streak of more awesome films.
But prior to making Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino aspired to be an actor. Unfortunately – actually, maybe very, fortunately – his acting career was terrible. He couldn’t get good gigs and as it looked to him, and to the talent scouts and auditioners, he didn’t seem to have what it takes.
And then something happened that would change his own life, as well as the film industry, forever. Tarantino was given a call and told he was being offered a small part on Golden Girls as an Elvis impersonator. Tarantino says it wasn’t even a successful audition that got him the job. The producers received a photo of him and said, “He’s got it.”
Tarantino took the job and showed up to play as an extra dressed as Elvis on a double episode titled “Sophia’s Wedding.” For the small role, he was paid $650. But because the episode was such a hit (without having anything to do with him), the producers put it on a “best of the Golden Girls” episode list. So every time the episode was aired, Tarantino was paid some money.
Here’s the kicker. As this was happening, Tarantino was working on getting Reservoir Dogs going but was severely struggling to stay afloat. In total, he got paid about $3000 for his Golden Girls appearance. And it was this money that kept him going. If it wasn’t for that cash, he might have just given up with movie making and gotten a job at a coffee shop or something similar. And if he would have given up on his first film, he might not have hit it big, and where the heck would we be now?
You see, regardless of how you feel about destiny and fate, it’s clear that life has a way of creating weird twists and turns. And when we can identify one of them, the sequences of events are surprising. What if Tarantino would have turned the roll down? What if he would have missed the call? There are infinite imaginable scenarios that could have transpired, and then we would be left with no Pulp Fiction, among other masterpieces. Scary thoughts indeed.