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Quentin Tarantino jolted onto the Hollywood scene with his screenplay for True Romance, before directing the early 1990s films Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.
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Born in Tennessee in 1963, Quentin Tarantino grew up loving movies more than school. In his early 20s, he got a job at the Video Archives, where he wrote the scripts for True Romance and Natural Born Killers. His directorial debut came with 1992's Reservoir Dogs, but he received wide critical and commercial acclaim with Pulp Fiction (1994), which earned more than $108 million at the box office—the first independent film to do so. In 2003 and 2004,
"I don't believe in elitism. I don't think the audience is this dumb person lower than me. I am the audience."
Tarantino released his Kill Bill series, which led to a Golden Globe nomination for Uma Thurman, who starred in the films. Tarantino was later nominated for two Academy Awards (best director and best original screenplay) for the film Inglourious Basterds (2009).
Quentin Tarantino was born on March 27, 1963, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is the only child of Connie McHugh, who is part Cherokee and part Irish, and actor Tony Tarantino, who left the family before Quentin was born.
Moving to California at the age of 4, Tarantino developed his love for movies at an early age. One of his earliest memories is of his grandmother taking him to see a John Wayne movie. Tarantino also loved storytelling, but he showed his creativity in unusual ways. "He wrote me sad Mother's Day stories. He'd always kill me and tell me how bad he felt about it," his mother Connie Zastoupil once told Entertainment Weekly. "It was enough to bring a tear to a mother's eye."
Tarantino loathed school, choosing to spend his time watching movies or reading comics rather than studying. The only subject that appealed to him was history. "History was cool and I did well there, because it was kind of like the movies," he told Entertainment Weekly. After dropping out of high school, Tarantino worked as an usher at a adult film theater for a time. He also took acting classes. Tarantino eventually landed a job at Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, California. There he worked with Roger Avary who shared his passion for film. The two even worked on some script ideas together.
During his time at Video Archives, Tarantino worked on several screenplays, including True Romance and Natural Born Killers. He also landed a guest spot on the popular sitcom The Golden Girls, playing an Elvis impersonator. In 1990, Tarantino left Video Archives to work for Cinetel, a production company. Through one of the producers there, he was able to get his script for True Romance in the hands of director Tony Scott. Scott liked Tarantino's script, and bought the rights to it.
Working with producer Lawrence Bender, Tarantino was able to secure funding for his directorial debut Reservoir Dogs (1992), for which he had also written the screenplay. Actor Harvey Keitel was impressed when he read the script, saying "I haven't seen characters like these in years." He signed on as an actor and a producer for the project. Other cast members included Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, and Tarantino himself.
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