Pulp Fiction filmmaker interviewed director Joe Dante while he was making horror-comedy.

By Clark Collis
April 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM EDT

The shoot for 1984's Gremlins was a famously testing and technically difficult one. But the movie's director, Joe Dante, found the time to chat with at least one young film enthusiast between takes: Quentin Tarantino.

The Pulp Fiction filmmaker talked about visiting the set of the beloved 1984 horror-comedy on the most recent episode of movie podcast Pure Cinema, revealing the trip came about after he interviewed Dante for a book he planned on writing

"It was on film directors," he said. "I thought I would start on the interviews and then write the pieces. The book was called Cinema of the Outrageous. I never finished it because I was 20 and I was a flake and I was too young and far too flaky to write a book. But I had every intention of writing the book and I started off with interviews. And so I interviewed a few people back then. I interviewed John Milius (director of Big Wednesday and Conan the Barbarian). I interviewed Joe Dante."

Tarantino initially spoke with Dante at the Gremlins director's office after which the filmmaker invited him to come see him work.

"I interviewed him on the set of Gremlins," said Tarantino. "They had me behind a partition because I wasn’t supposed to see what a gremlin looked like. I had all this access to him because a gremlin's head fell off and it took them a while to fix the gremlin head. And so I’m sitting there talking to him, and then they fixed it, but they see I’m talking so they just let us talk for a while. I’m literally just this guy visiting the set, and they could have been shooting at least 20 minutes earlier, but they’re just letting him talk. At some point he goes, 'Alright, you know what? I’m going to wrap this up. I kind of see that they’re done, they’re kind of waiting for me to come, but they don’t want to say anything.'"

Tarantino also talked about how he almost got on the set of Scarface, whose director, Brian De Palma, is one of his cinematic heroes.

"There was talk about me being on the set of Scarface," he said. "Watching [De Palma] work for a little bit and then doing an interview with him. It never happened."

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