Can you imagine Daniel Day-Lewis arguing with Samuel L. Jackson about the meaning of foot massages? Well, at one point in the development process of "Pulp Fiction," Harvey Weinstein could.
As relayed to Vanity Fair, Weinstein was not all that pleased when Tarantino, a then-upstart, said he wanted John Travolta to play the role of Vincent Vega.
"One of the actors I had on the list was John Travolta," Tarantino said to Vanity Fair contributing editor Mark Seal. "And it came back: 'The entire list is approved ... except for John Travolta.' So I got together with Harvey, and he's like, 'I can get Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn, William Hurt.'" As Tarantino's agent, Mike Simpson, recalled to Seal, Day-Lewis had apparently read the script and wanted the part. That, coupled with Travolta's career, which was described as "cold," put DDL in the driver's seat for Weinstein.
In the end, however, Tarantino won out. "Pulp Fiction" re-launched Travolta's career, earning him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor as well as countless big-budget features ("Get Shorty," "Michael," "Swordfish," "Broken Arrow" and many more). Meanwhile, Day-Lewis would go on to star in "The Crucible" and "The Boxer" before earning high praise and Oscar love for his work in "Gangs of New York," "There Will Be Blood" and "Lincoln."
That's all well and good, but the crazy thing is that there's a reality where this almost happened. That's kind of insane! To wit: Watch this scene and picture Daniel Day-Lewis saying, "You'd dig it the most" or "We should have f--king shotguns."
For more about the "Pulp Fiction" oral history, head over to Vanity Fair. For a special, behind-the-scenes clip from the recent Tarantino Blu-ray collection which explores the "Pulp Fiction" casting process, watch the video above.
[via Vanity Fair]