10 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Bruce Willis and John Travolta in ‘Pulp Fiction’

by Jacklyn Krol
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Pulp Fiction is a timeless classic, but there are still lesser-known facts about the filming of the blockbuster.

Discover ten of the most interesting facts about the creation of Pulp Fiction, below.

10. The F-Word is Spoken 265 Times

The word “f–k” was used so many times that this marked Tarantino‘s second most explicit movie. According to IndieWire, the cast swore a grand total of 431 times. Half of those words were the F-bomb. A good portion of those curse words famously came from Samuel L. Jackson. After all, what would a Quentin Tarantino movie be without naughty words?

9. Vincent Vega Had Two Other Front Runners

Director Quentin Tarantino originally wrote the character for Michael Madsen. Madsen and Tarantino previously worked together on Reservoir Dogs. Unfortunately, he turned it down to star in Wyatt Earp. The duo collaborated later again on the Kill Bill films.

Meanwhile, producer Harvey Weinstein was adamant about having Daniel Day-Lewis for the role. Even over John Travolta, who the role went to. Day-Lewis reportedly wanted the job as well but Tarantino went with Travolta.

Director Quentin Tarantino originally wrote the character for Michael Madsen. Madsen and Tarantino previously worked together on Reservoir Dogs. Unfortunately, he turned it down to star in Wyatt Earp. The duo collaborated later again on the Kill Bill films.

8. The Movie Cost Just a Fraction What It Made

Pulp Fiction’s budget was just $8.5 million. On average, it took $40-50 million to make a Hollywood film at the time. Fortunately, it grossed $9.3 million at the box office in the first weekend. Surprisingly, it was first released in Japan, South Korea, and Slovakia before the United States. It later became the first independent film to gross $100 million. It actually ended up grossing $200 million globally, a huge success, despite its competition, Shawshank Redemption which opened on the same day.

7. A Rabbit Inspired a Character

Yes, really, a rabbit inspired a character’s name. The “Honey Bunny” character portrayed by Amanda Pummer was a bunny’s name. Linda Chen typed the handwritten script from Tarantino. He reportedly had roughly 9,000 errors on every page (including some of the ineligible handwriting). Chen said that the draft was “the diary of a mad man.” Tarantino often used her to bounce ideas off of and had her as a unit photographer on set.

So, how did the name come about? Instead of being paid for her work, Chen requested that Tarantino babysit her rabbit while she went away. He denied her request. Sadly, the rabbit passed away and Tarantino decided to name the character after the bunny.

6. Equal Pay Among Co-Stars

Every main actor reportedly earned the same salary. Each co-star earned $20,000 per week according to Maxim. With the total budget of the film being $8.5 million, $5 million went towards the cast leaving just $3.5 million for other expenses. Along with the pay, actors also earned a percentage of the film’s profits, making their pay cuts worth it.

5. Quentin Had to Be Directed

Tarantino was considering taking one of two roles in the film. He was interested in Lance, the drug dealer, or Jimmie, the cleaner. He wanted to be able to direct the Mia scene where she is injected with a syringe so he went with Jimmie.

Tarantino had his friend and fellow director Robert Rodriguez direct his scene. Tarantino actually ended up writing Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn screenplay along with a cameo. They later collaborated on Sin City along with Planet Terror and Death Proof.

4. What Is In The Suitcase?

Nobody knows what is in the infamous suitcase. Fans have theorized numerous concepts. Some believe that the soul of Marsellus is inside or something expensive like jewels, a Reservoir Dogs reference with the diamonds. Tarantino said that what’s inside is at the Pulp Fiction viewer’s discretion.

So what was actually inside the suitcase while filming? A battery and bulbs.

3. Did You Miss Steve Buscemi’s Cameo?

Steve Buscemi portrayed the Buddy Holly waiter at Jack Rabbit Slims. Donning a wig and being such a brief cameo without a close-up, it can be easy to miss. Buscemi is seen asking Mia if she wants a “Martin and Lewis or Amos and Andy” (chocolate or vanilla) shake.

2. The Script Was Written In Amsterdam

Tarantino earned $50,000 from Reservoir Dogs and used the money to go to Amsterdam. He spent a vacation there for three months in an apartment without a telephone or fax machine.

Tarantino would wake up every day and write Pulp Fiction in his notebook. He would then drink coffee and walk around the canal before writing in his apartment once again. The draft ended up totaling 500 pages which would have made it an 8+ hour movie.

1. The ‘Kill Bill’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’ Crossover

Did you notice the ending of the film? Jules said that he wanted to be a “drifter.” Jackson appeared as Rufus, a piano player drifter in Kill Bill Volume 2.

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