Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

Quentin Tarantino on Kill Bill Vol. 2

Film4 Kill Bill Vol.2

"I was rather possessed on this movie. I was kind of like a mountaineer, climbing Mount Everest - just trying to get to the top and put my flag there."

It took four years, millions of dollars and countless gallons of fake blood, but in 2004, maverick director Quentin Tarantino finally completed Kill Bill, his epic hymn to the 'grindhouse' genre cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. Originally planned as a fast, low budget 88-minute production, it ballooned into a four-hour saga told in two parts. Kill Bill Vol. 2 picks up the story with Uma Thurman as the vengeance-driven Bride, still out to exact retribution on her ex-lover Bill and his gang of assassins.

The risky decision to split the film into two segments was made late in the day, and even Tarantino experienced a few worries on this score. "It was mainly because of Volume 2. I knew splitting it in half would work for Volume 1 because the fight at the House of Blue Leaves was a fantastic climax. I just didn't know if we had enough movie to make Volume 2 a completely satisfying experience."

Like many directors, Tarantino often works with a particular group of actors - and while the character of the Bride was created especially for Pulp Fiction star Uma Thurman, two other Tarantino alumni also turn up during Vol. 2. Reservoir Dogs star Michael Madsen plays a major role as Bill's gone-to-seed brother Budd, and there's also a short cameo from Samuel L. Jackson as the organ player at the Bride's fateful wedding rehearsal.

"Sam loves kung fu movies," explains Tarantino, "and when he read the script he was like 'Hey, I've gotta be in this!' So, I said to him, 'Well, there's not really a part for you,' and he said, 'Well make a part for me! How about the organ player, man? I'm feeling the organ player!' There wasn't even any dialogue for the character, he was just this organ player who was there. So on the day, me and Sam just came up with this really cool speech for him."

Film4 Kill Bill Vol. 2

"I was originally going to be in Kill Bill - I was going to play Pai Mei, the monk who trains the Bride. But I eventually realised it was such a huge film I'd never have time to get everything done."

"Sam loves kung fu movies," explains Tarantino, "and when he read the script he was like 'Hey, I've gotta be in this!' So, I said to him, 'Well, there's not really a part for you,' and he said, 'Well make a part for me! How about the organ player, man? I'm feeling the organ player!' There wasn't even any dialogue for the character, he was just this organ player who was there. So on the day, me and Sam just came up with this really cool speech for him."

Possibly the biggest surprise of Kill Bill is that there's no sign of Tarantino the actor. And aside from a brief role in the TV show Alias, he hasn't appeared on screen since his cameo in 2000's Little Nicky. "I haven't been acting for a while - mainly because I've been working on Kill Bill for so long. But if there's a good role, in one of my scripts or someone else's script, then sure, I'll do it."

"Actually, I was originally going to be in Kill Bill - I was going to play Pai Mei, the monk who trains the Bride. But I eventually realised it was such a huge film I'd never have time to get everything done. At least I got to do the initial training. I was damned if I was going to have all these girls, who didn't care about kung fu in the first place, go through three months of training, when that's what I'd always wanted to do ever since I was a kid."

While there's nothing to match the delirious excesses of Vol. 1's limb-strewn climax, Kill Bill Vol. 2 still features some graphic set pieces that'll have timid audience members leaping for shelter... or diving for a sick bag. While he has always aimed for an extreme reaction in his movies, Tarantino confesses he's not completely immune to being grossed out himself. "Probably the only time was when I saw Monty Python's Meaning Of Life. When the fat Mr Creosote guy who does all the puking turns up - I remember sitting in the movie theatre thinking, 'If somebody vomits, and I actually smell vomit while I'm watching this, I'm just going to hurl!'"

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    The Lawless Breed

    Rock Hudson stars in Raoul Walsh's western, which traces the evolution of a Texan gunslinger.

    On Film4: 18 Jan 5:15PM

  • Film4

    Yakuza Apocalypse

    Takashi Miike's ultra-violent, darkly comic horror about a vampire mobster seeking revenge.

  • Film4

    Wild In The Streets on Film4

    A thrillingly dark and dangerous season of anarchy, paranoia, violent action, gang warfare and urban crime

  • Film4

    The Grand Budapest Hotel on Film4

    Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan and Bill Murray star in Wes Andersons The Grand Budapest Hotel, playing for the first time on Film4.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF 2016: Top Ten

    Film4.com Editor Michael Leader runs through ten standouts from the Toronto International Film Festival...   The Oath I'd already seen three of the four Film4-backed films screening in Toronto (inc

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Baltasar Kormakur on The Oath

    As his Film4-backed Icelandic thriller The Oath premieres in Toronto, director/writer/actor Baltasar Kormakur speaks with Film4.com editor Michael Leader about making films in Hollywood, returning to

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share

Tweets @Film4

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel was nominated for 9 Oscars in 2015 and won 4: Costume, Makeup & Hair, Production Design &… https://t.co/9LgCarksIC

  • Our late-night highlight at 1.15am is generation-spanning drama The Place Beyond The Pines, starring Ryan Gosling &… https://t.co/DH9FF6HYxC

  • RT @Film4: Premiere alert! On Monday 23rd, we're showing @AmmaAsante’s acclaimed period drama Belle, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw. https://t.co…

  • "Rudeness is merely an expression of fear. People fear they won't get what they want." At 9pm, Wes Anderson's The G… https://t.co/NGq2IdqM4B

  • RT @Marathonswift: My top movie of the year a few years ago. Well worth watching if you yet to see this. An absolute joy #thegrandbudapesth…