Quentin Tarantino Once Shared He Thought He Would Lose $30,000 Fighting a Cab Driver
Quentin Tarantino has gotten into many fights during his career
There have been a couple of reported incidences when Tarantino has been known to get physical. Variety once reported that Tarantino was being sued by Natural Born Killers producer Don Murphy. In the lawsuit, the producer claimed that Tarantino struck him in the face repeatedly. Speaking with The Guardian, Tarantino himself revealed he’d gotten into a fight with actor Lawrence Tierney on Reservoir Dogs.
“Tierney was a complete lunatic by that time – he just needed to be sedated,” Tarantino said. “We had decided to shoot his scenes first, so my first week of directing was talking with this f****** lunatic. He was personally challenging to every aspect of film-making.”
This would later lead to a full-on fistfight between Tarantino and Tierney.
Despite his past reputation for fights, Tarantino didn’t consider himself a hothead. He just considered himself someone who was willing to stand up for himself.
“I don’t think I have a quick temper,” Tarantino said in an interview with Playboy(via Scraps from the Lost). “I can get into a discussion, and that argument can get heated. I’m not going to take it to a violent place, because I know there is no limit to where I could go with that. Depending on how thick the s*** gets, I’ll go all the way if I need to. I don’t want to. Life will be a lot easier if I don’t. I can get really mad at somebody, but I’m never afraid that I’ll hit them or step over that line. But the minute they do, I’m all there.”
Quentin Tarantino once feared he would lose $30,000 after a fight with a cab driver
One of Tarantino’s more low-profile fights involved an incident he had with a cab driver. According to The Hateful Eight director, the fight started over him defending a woman he had in his cab.
“I got into an argument with him. We were yelling at each other, and he said something about her. I went around the side of the cab and beat him up,” he said. “Bouncers from a club pulled me off him, and he drove away. Those two other things had just happened, and I remember thinking, Is this worth $30,000, the amount I’ll have to pay when this guy figures out who I am? How much do I want to whip this guy’s ass?”
But for Tarantino, he was willing to potentially sacrifice 30 grand to fight the cab driver.
“He was a big black guy, and they’re used to white guys backing down. I don’t back down, especially to big black guys. That gives me a psychological advantage,” he said. “When I don’t back down, they have to stop and think, Why didn’t he back down? He came out of the car and said, ‘Come on, m*****f*****!’ Right then the $30,000 went out of my head, and all I was thinking was, I’m going to get my money’s worth.”
But for Tarantino, 30 grand wasn’t only what the fight nearly cost him. It also almost cost him a nipple.
“The only reason he didn’t really f*** me up was he was too greedy. He took too big a bite. Had he taken a small bite, I might not have a nipple now. He barely broke the skin because he had too much flesh in his mouth,” he said.
David Letterman once claimed Quentin Tarantino threatened to beat him up
David Letterman was also someone who was warned to feel Tarantino’s wrath. On Showtime’s Deus & Mero, the retired talk show host shared how Letterman prying into Tarantino’s personal life almost led to a fight.
“There was one guest on the show and her girlfriend was someone [Tarantino] was dating. Famous star,” Letterman said. “And I was saying, ‘No, you’re not dating Quentin Tarantino.’ And she said, ‘Yes, yes I am.’ And I said, ‘No please tell me this isn’t true.’ Now I’m joking! I’m thinking the idea is Quentin Tarantino is this movie store nerd from when you were able to go take out movies from the store. He was a self-described movie nerd.”
Tarantino would then call Letterman two days later to chastise him about the interview.
“He starts screaming at me, ‘I’m going to beat you to death, I’m going to kill you. I’m coming to New York and I’m going to beat the crap out of you. How can you say that about me?’” Letterman recalled.