Brad Pitt Was One of the Few Allowed to Sleep on a Quentin Tarantino Movie Set

Quentin Tarantino has always had little tolerance for actors sleeping in his films. But the actor made Brad Pitt the one and only exception to this rule, and it wasn’t because of Pitt’s star status.

Quentin Tarantino’s solution for actors who fall asleep on film sets

Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt at Cannes.
Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino | Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Tarantino prefers his actors to be one hundred percent present while collaborating both in mind and body. His methods allow for very little distractions from the outside world, which is why even cell phones aren’t allowed on his film sets. But Tarantino also has little to no patience for his actors sleeping on the job as well.

If an actor does fall asleep on set, however, Tarantino had an interesting way of delivering punishment.

“It did always kind of bug me when you shoot at night and all of a sudden you see a crew member sleeping or an actor sleeping. That always kind of bugged me. So I came up with something where it wouldn’t bug me,” Tarantino once said on Conan.

The solution was a new crew member Tarantino eventually introduced to film sets that was a dildo he titled Big Jerry. So when someone fell asleep, Tarantino would place the dildo as closely as possible to the crew member’s or actor’s mouth. Then he’d snap a picture of it.

“And then we’d keep all the photos and put them on a wall of shame,” Tarantino said.

Quentin Tarantino allowed Brad Pitt to sleep on film sets

Despite Tarantino’s commitment to his Big Jerry prank, Pitt might be one of the very few who managed to escape this punishment. At the time of filming Inglourious Basterds, Pitt already had his hands full with his and Angelina Jolie’s six children. Their kids functioned on a schedule that made it difficult for the parents to get any real sleep of their own.

“They’re trying to kill us, they really are,” Pitt once joked in an interview with Oprah. “We’ll get them to bed, read the stories, and then one will show up about a half hour later and can’t sleep and wants to read books.”

And when one of his children fell asleep, another one would wake up.

“I know they’ve got shifts,” he further added. “They’ve got it worked out, you know?”

Tarantino noticed how tired Pitt was due to his family’s schedule. Because of this, the filmmaker sympathized with Pitt’s constant fatigue and decided to give the actor a break.

“One of the things that’s kind of funny is we try to usually discourage sleeping on the set – it can happen from time to time. But because Brad has a big family home, sleeping on the set is the only time he gets to sleep,” Tarantino once said according to Contact Music. “[He has[ something like six [children]!”

Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt have had a long history

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Even though Inglourious Basterds was the first film Tarantino and Pitt collaborated on, the two have always shared a connection. Pitt recalled that he and Tarantino rose to prominence in the Hollywood industry at around the same period. But Basterds just seemed like the perfect script for the two to collaborate on.

“Quentin and I have a long history because he wrote True Romance. We kind of showed up [on the pop culture scene] at the same time, so we’ve always kind of crossed paths. And when I put the script [for Basterds] down, I heard the character’s voice, I felt the walk. He had just written it so well,” Pitt once told Entertainment Weekly.