Cult movie Pulp Fiction could have looked very different had producer Harvey Weinstein got his way- he wanted Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis to play the main part of Vincent Vega, and didn't approve of Quentin Tarantino's suggestion of John Travolta!
It was the role that revived John Travolta's film career back in 1994, but Quentin Tarantino has now revealed that the iconic part of Vincent Vega was originally offered to Reservoir Dogs star Michael Madsen.
Producing mogul Harvey Weinsten was not convinced by Tarantino's suggestion that Travolta should have the part, approving every name on a long list put forward by the director apart from John's!
In a new Vanity Fair expose, Tarantino says he turned to Travolta when scheduling conflicts messed up his plan to hire Madsen. Recalling Weinstein's comeback, Tarantino says:
"One of the actors I had on the list was John Travolta. And it came back, 'The entire list is approved... except for John Travolta."
The director went on:
"So I got together with Harvey, and he's like, 'I can get Daniel Day-Lewis...'"
But Tarantino stuck to his guns and fought for Travolta, eventually winning Weinstein over.
The director's agent, Mike Simpson, recently confessed that Bruce Willis' famous role of Butch Coolidge was initially offered to Matt Dillon:
"Quentin... gave Matt the script and he read it, and he said, 'I love it. Let me sleep on it'. Quentin then called me and said, 'He's out. If he can't tell me face-to-face that he wants to be in the movie - after he read the script - he's out." Yikes!
Meanwhile Paul Calderon, who played a smaller part in the film, has told of how he was almost handed the role of Jules Winnfield over Samuel L. Jackson, but his audition wasn't up to scratch.
Calderon remembers, "I was the first one who was going to audition, Sam was supposed to come after me. We went into the audition room, and one of the producers started to read with me, which to this day, I look back on it and think, 'I should have said no. I couldn't recapture the rhythms...' At the end, I said, 'I give up'. The air was going out of me like the Goodyear blimp."
Uma Thurman has talked of how she wasn't initally bowled over by the role of Mia Wallace. That might sound crazy now, but back then Tarantino's name didn't mean quite so much:
"He (Tarantino) wasn't this revered demigod auteur that he has grown into. And I wasn't sure I wanted to do it... No one could believe I hesitated in any way. Neither can I, in hindsight."
Bet she's glad she said yes!