George Clooney And Quentin Tarantino Argued Over This Salma Hayek Scene in ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’

From Dusk Till Dawn was a significant highlight in the careers of everyone involved. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, it was Quentin Tarantino’s first paid writing job in Hollywood. It also starred the Pulp Fiction director in a notable role alongside Salma Hayek and George Clooney, who was coming fresh off of his ER days to star in the movie.

Meanwhile, the film catapulted Hayek to Hollywood superstardom, and The Eternals actor hasn’t looked back since. For the most part, everyone recalls their time on set with fond memories. But there was one scene in particular where stars George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino allegedly squabbled over when it came to Hayek. And it led Tarantino, who was also the producer of the film, to pull rank.

Quentin Tarantino rescued George Clooney from ‘ER’

Quentin Tarantino posing in a black suit
Quentin Tarantino | Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Before George Clooney was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, he played a medical doctor on the hit classic TV series, ER. There, he was already winning over hearts and praise as the womanizing but empathetic Dr. Doug Ross. With his movie-star good looks and leading man charisma, it might have only been a matter of time before Clooney leaped onto the big screen. But Tarantino was the director that helped Clooney with that transition early.

Clooney already had a few movie credits under his belt before Tarantino’s intervention. The Ocean’s 11 star had already featured in films like Return to Horror High, Unbecoming Age, and Return of the Killer Tomatoes. But From Dusk Till Dawn is largely seen as his first major Hollywood role, one that Clooney didn’t even have to audition for. According to Clooney’s Reddit AMA, Tarantino was on the set of ER, and approached Clooney with an offer.

“Quentin directed an episode of ER and Rob and he were working on this project at the time and Quentin came over and said ‘You wanna come in and meet on this project,’” Clooney posted. “Yeah, are you kidding? I’d get to work with Juliette Lewis and Harvey Keitel and Rob and Salma and Quentin.”

The movie officially got Clooney’s movie career rolling. While still being on ER, he was able to snag high-profile roles in movies like Batman & Robin and Out of Sight. Despite being on his way to becoming a movie star, however, Clooney honored his contractual obligations with ER. He stayed on the show for five seasons and left on good terms.

George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino argued over who got to do this scene with Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek smiling in a red dress
Salma Hayek | Samir Hussein/WireImage

According to The Mirror via TheFreeLibrary.com, Tarantino and Clooney had a brief squabble over who got to suck Salma Hayek’s toes in From Dusk Rill Dawn, which is one of the film’s most memorable moments. Hayek quipped that when it came time to shoot, Clooney playfully asked why he couldn’t do the sensual scene instead.

“George was complaining because I get to beat him up,” Hayek said. “I abuse him and call him my slave. He asked Quentin, ‘How come I get beaten up and you get to suck her toes?’”

Eventually, Hayek revealed that Tarantino used his rank as screenwriter and producer to ensure that the scene was his.

“Quentin wrote that scene for himself,” Hayek quipped.

‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ helped Salma Hayek get over her fear of snakes

Salma Hayek has expressed that she had a powerful fear when it came to snakes. This fear was so strong, that when it came to From Dusk Till Dawn, it almost cost her the role. One of the movie’s most iconic shots is Hayek dancing wearing a live snake around her neck like a scarf. Hayek, however, was very vocal about not wanting to do the scene.

“Quentin told me, ‘oh, by the way, you’re dancing with a snake,’” Hayek said. “I said, ‘I can’t do that. It’s my greatest fear.’”

But Tarantino told her that Madonna could take the part instead. This motivated the young Hayek to conquer her phobia.

“It was good because I had to overcome my greatest fear. I had to go on trance to do the dance,” Hayek said. “It was improvised, there was no choreography…because you can’t choreograph a snake, we don’t know what she’s going to do!”

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