There’s no such thing as a "bad" Quentin Tarantino interview. One of Hollywood’s most candid superstars, the esteemed yet never-stuffed-shirt writer/director bites his tongue for one, and he’s able to function like that because, frankly, he has the skills and the filmography to back everything he says up. When your weakest film is Death Proof, and features what's arguably modern genre cinema’s greatest kill sequence, you’re allowed to posture all you want.
And that’s exactly what Tarantino does throughout his new interview with New York, for the magazine’s latest cover story. He’s clearly in an ultra-confident place right now, having finished shooting his eighth movie, The Hateful Eight, and currently putting the finishing post-production touches on it. The wildly entertaining Q&A—which is sans intro, because Tarantino’s candor doesn’t need a wordy set-up—is definitely the best thing you’ll read today.
Speaking with New York culture editor Lane Brown, Tarantino throws an impressive, if not surprising, amount of shade towards some of Hollywood’s most respected A-listers. He keeps it all the way real about Ben Affleck’s movie The Town, for instance, pointing out that critically beloved hit’s fakeness in ways that its fans most likely haven’t considered:
He throw darts at Cate Blanchett’s movie resume, stating that she doesn’t make films that have any real staying power culturally:
Completely out of nowhere, he goes at horror master Wes Craven, essentially saying that he could’ve directed the first Scream better than Craven, and that the A Nightmare on Elm Street director is the reason why it’s not the masterpiece it could’ve been:
Tarantino does slip up a bit in the interview, though. He becomes momentarily hypocritical while discussing television, attacking TV critics and recap specialists and basically dumping all over their professions, part of which is to make judgments about shows based solely on debut episodes: "Who the fuck reads TV reviews? Jesus fucking Christ. TV critics review the pilot. Pilots of shows suck." But he also inadvertently admits that he wrote off HBO’s True Detective after the first season’s pilot episode:
The interview’s highpoint, though, beyond its salacious quotables and trash talk, centers directly on The Hateful Eight. Set a few years after the Civil War, it's a single-location potboiler about eight strangers who are stuck inside a snow-enshrined cabin. One of its stars is Tarantino regular Samuel L. Jackson; per this New York interview, Jackson’s character, Major Marquis Warren, a.k.a. "The Bounty Hunter," is the film’s nucleus, and he’s the element that’ll separate The Hateful Eight from past Civil-War-minded westerns, namely iconic director Sergio Leone’s most famous one. "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly doesn’t get into the racial conflicts of the Civil War," says Tarantino. "It’s just a thing that’s happening. My movie is about the country being torn apart by it, and the racial aftermath, six, seven, eight, ten years later."
Brown then gets him to elaborate:
And to think, this is the kind of gold Tarantino's offering four months before The Hateful Eight even opens, and nobody's even seen the film yet. Just wait until the official press rounds begin in a couple of months. It's about to be a four-month-long quote-a-thon.