The press circuit to promote a new film can be the bane of any actor or film-maker’s existence: endlessly asked the same questions, with purposeful trip points and pitfalls along the way as the interviewer attempts to get something juicy that isn’t the same regurgitated promotional answers the talent have been repeating to every single questioner throughout the day.
So you can probably understand why Quentin Tarantino exploded at Channel 4 News’ man Krishnan Guru-Murthy during one such pre-release interview, when the presenter attempted a line of questioning that the director didn’t agree with.
No doubt buoyed by a desire to get Taratino – an infamous perpetuator of on-screen violence – Guru-Murthy sat down with the director ahead of Django Unchained’s UK release, and tried to ask the Kill Bill creator why he liked making violent films. The response was measured and polite: Judd Apatow doesn’t get asked why he makes comedies. But then comedy films aren’t blamed for real-life cases of violence, and Guru-Murthy obviously decided that wasn’t a substantial enough answer, so he pressed on, attempting to get Tarantino to make a link between people wanting to see violent films, and wanting to commit violence in real life.
And that’s where QT took offence to the line of questioning. He ranted, clearly enraged by Guru-Murthy’s attempts to get something juicy, and fully aware that the presenter was merely on a hunt for ratings.
Partricularly enjoyable is Tarantino’s response when he is asked why he wont answer the 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.”
He also said he has already answered that particular question:
“It’s none of your damn business what I think about that. I’m saying ‘no’… If anyone cares what I have to say about it, they can Google me.”
Tarantino probably wasn’t all that upset with the issue at hand – he’s an intelligent film-maker, and makes bold statements in his films with violence that are rarely needlessly provocative. There’s usually something in mind when he has his characters commit that sort of behaviour, but there’s only so much of one thing any man can take, and it seems Guru-Murthy was too keen on retreading ground that Tarantino has had to endlessly go over since making his debut with Reservoir Dogs 21 years ago. It’s all just an issue of context.
I say good work to Tarantino for the outburst, which is usually the last thing you’d see in these circumstances as film-makers or actors trot out the same crib-sheet answers in fear of compromising their film’s potential box office return. Why shouldn’t he be bored and outraged by the same provocative questioning when he’s already answered the issue in detail?
And most importantly why should he tolerate a news anchor degrading his word, reducing it in one simple, ill-considered question: “Why do you love violent movies?”
Though Django Unchained is far from my own favourite Tarantino flick, to reduce his work in such cynical terms is highly insulting, and the response was both justified and to be applauded.
Here’s the interview in full…
Was he wrong? Share your own thoughts below, and click Next to reveal our 10 Weird and Obscure Facts About Quentin Tarantino.
This article was first posted on January 11, 2013