Quentin Tarantino Took Matters into His Own Hands When John Travolta Couldn’t Nail His Pulp Fiction Dance

Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction's iconic dance scene had so much attention to detail that John Travolta found it had to keep up.

Quentin Tarantino Took Matters into His Own Hands When John Travolta Couldn’t Nail His Pulp Fiction Dance

SUMMARY

  • The one project that best encompasses Quentin Tarantino as a director and helped lay the foundation of his career was Pulp Fiction.
  • The impact that the film had can especially be credited to the attention to detail that Tarantino puts in his films.
  • There is one iconic scene from the movie that had so much thought put into it that one cannot help but appreciate the filmmaker. 
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Quentin Tarantino is one of the most talented filmmakers in the industry. Turning cinema into a lifestyle; he lives, breathes, and exists in movies. Not only is he an expert when it comes to films from all times, but his own works also reflect a level of understanding of his characters that is very rarely seen. His films can only be called masterpieces, telling stories with so many different layers that a viewer could get lost and end up finding themself.

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Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction

The one project that best encompasses these traits and helped lay the foundation of his career was Pulp Fiction. The 1994 film was a compilation of all the highlights and cliches throughout Hollywood and kickstarted a new era of cinema that changed everything.

The impact that the film had can especially be credited to the attention to detail that Tarantino puts in his films. There is one iconic scene from the movie that had so much thought put into it that one cannot help but appreciate the filmmaker.

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Quentin Tarantino’s Vision Was Almost Lost

Quentin Tarantino gave an interview on The Graham Norton Show where he talked about one of his most iconic films of all time, Pulp Fiction. He specifically talked about the dancing sequence in the film where John Travolta and Uma Turman were they are seen twisting. He stated that he had a very specific vision in mind for these characters and how they would execute this step. He wanted their entire personalities to be reflected by how they did this one step.

Bruce Willis in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994).
John Travolta and Bruce Willis in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction 

I didn’t have to teach him John Travolta how to dance. I wanted him to dance a particular way. It was a certain kind of- I’ll do it. Let me set it up. Twists can be kind of boring. So part of the thing about it is, I wanted Vincent and Mia, i.e. Uma Thurman, to have two diffrent characters when they twist. When Vince twists, I wanted him to be kind of rigid.”

Bruce Willis, John Travolta, and Uma Thurman star in Pulp Fiction.
Pulp Fiction 

He wanted Travolta’s character, Vincent Vega, to dance extremely stiffly, being rigid and uptight with his moves. It would seem that the actor was finding it difficult to understand Tarantino’s vision as the filmmaker had to explain it to him, through example. Tarantino showed how he wanted this character to dance, showing a very stiff man attempting to move his body, almost like a robot.

Uma Thurman Nailed The Dance Which Was Inspired By A Cat

Quentin Tarantino had a much different vision for Uma Thurman’s character. He wanted for her to come off as more fluid and carefree. He wanted Mia Wallace’s personality, motivations, and entire existence to be visible from this one simple step, and it would seem that the filmmaker had one specific example in mind.

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Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction (1994)
Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction 

“But when Mia twists, the image that I had in my mind, was the zsa zsa gabor cat, from The Aristocats and there is that one scene where the Aristocats dance”

Tarantino took an example from a Disney film; the 1970 film, The Aristocats. Wanting Mia’s steps to be almost feline, he took inspiration from the movements of the cats in this film during a specific dance sequence. Thurman seemed to have perfectly understood his vision as she was able to execute it in the best way possible. This attention to detail is just another example of how intentional Quentin Tarantino is with his filmmaking.

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Written by Ananya Godboley

Articles Published: 1127

A poet and art enthusiast, Ananya Godboley is a striving academic who is pursuing a career in Criminal Psychology, currently doing an undergrad degree in Psychology. Passionate about History, Philosophy and Literature, she loves to learn about new and interesting subjects. A writer for FandomWire with over 1000 published articles, she adores all things superhero and Taylor Swift.