Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

  • Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

    BEST SCREENPLAY ‑ MOTION PICTURE

    Award 9

    Best Screenplay ‑ Motion Picture

    “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

    QUENTIN TARANTINO:  Wow.  I can’t believe I won over Steve Zaillian.  I gotta tell you that.  I mean, I think ‑‑ it was only Margot giving me the award, that was the mojo that pushed it over the edge.  Congratulations, dudes.  This is really lovely.  I want to dedicate this award to the dean of screenwriters, Robert Bolt.

    (Applause.)

    And my favorite screenwriter growing up that made me want to be a screenwriter was John Milius, and John Milius’s hero was Robert Bolt.  So I am pushing it back to Milius back to Bolt, right here, right now.  Normally the thing is when I win a writing award, and you don’t share the script with somebody else, you write it by yourself, you kind of don’t really have anybody to thank.  I did it.

    (Laughter.)

    But this time, more than usually most, I had a fantastic cast.  And it’s not just a BS fantastic cast.  It was a fantastic cast that took it from the page and had to add a slightly different layer than what was just on the page, whether it was Leo in the trailer, whether it’s Brad having his acid flashback ‑‑ acid trip or Margot’s just truly goodness, just the goodness that comes out of her that put more goodness in a movie than I’ve ever been involved in.  And that goes down to everybody, all the way down to little Julia Butters, God bless her little heart.  So I want to thank you so much.  And my wife who is watching from Tel Aviv, who is pregnant with my very first child.

    (Applause.)

    (In a foreign language).  I love you.

    –BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW–

    QUENTIN TARANTINO:  Hello.
              QUESTION:  Congratulations.  I'm a film fan first, journalist
              second.
              QUENTIN TARANTINO:  Oh, wow.  I would like one of those.
              QUESTION:  I'm going to keep this brief.  You said that your
              screenplay was elevated by your performances.  Were Brad and Leo
              always the choice, or were there other people you had in mind
              while writing this?
              QUENTIN TARANTINO:  Well, you know, it's funny.  They were
              definitely the people that I had in my favorite dream about who
              would be fantastic to do this, but I couldn't count on getting
              those guys.  I mean, that's the crazy casting crew of the decade.
              But at the same time, though, it was dependent, since one act --
              one person is playing the stunt double of the other, they had to
              go together.  You had to believe that one guy could double the
              other person.  So I had to come up with a few different examples
              of people that -- different actors who could do that, but because
              of that, I kind of needed to cast Rick Dalton first, because once
              I cast Rick Dalton, then I would know who I would need for Cliff
              Booth.  So that's the way it kind of all worked out, and then it
              worked out in the best way it could possibly work out.
              QUESTION:  Congratulations.  I wanted to ask you -- first of all,
              I love the KHJ jingles on there.
              QUENTIN TARANTINO:  Yes.
              QUESTION:  But I wanted to know, did you -- because I know you
              have to be sensitive about certain issues.  The Tate family
              obviously went through some horrible things.
              QUENTIN TARANTINO:  Yeah.
              QUESTION:  Tell us your contact with them, explaining to them
              what you were going to do, and not necessarily getting their
              blessing, but having them understand what you were trying to do?
              QUENTIN TARANTINO:  That's a good question.  Even the way you are
              posing it is an interesting way.  I got Debra Tate's phone
              number, and I gave her a call.  We talked on the phone, and she
              lives out by Santa Barbara, and so what I did is I drove out
              there.  I drove out to Santa Barbara, and I got a hotel for the
              weekend, and so we went out.  So we got together for like a lunch
              in Santa Barbara.  By the way, it's a lovely city.  So it's a
              really good place to hang out.  We got together.  We had a big
              lunch.  And I kind of talked to her about the movie, without
              trying to spoil everything, but just telling her where I was
              coming from and what it meant to write the movie, how I felt that
              I got to know her sister from writing it.  Then we went and had
              dinner, and then I got to ask her questions, because I wrote a
              lot of this about -- I wrote a lot of this, and I hadn't done a
              lot of research, but now I was really talking to, you know, the
              person who really knows.  So I could ask her specific questions,
              like, for instance, a lot of people actually think that the last
              lunch of Sharon's life was Joanna Pettet and another person, but
              no, that was not the case.  I found out for sure that, no, that
              was just Joanna Pettet showed up that day.  So then I gave her
              the script to read.  And no one else, not Brad, not Leo, nobody
              else had the script on their own to take home.  I gave it to
              Debra to take home and read, and then we got -- that was like a
              Saturday.  So then we got together on Monday and talked about the
              script.  No, no.  That was Saturday, and then I stayed another
              night, and we got together on Sunday and talked about it.  So the
              whole idea was to just let her know where I was coming from and
              that I wasn't trying to be exploitive and that I wanted to make
              her sister a character.  And for too long she has not -- she has
              been excluded as a character in her own story, and I have to say
              it's one of the things about the movie that I'm the proudest of.
              If you go back any odd year, look at like a 20/20 piece on the
              Manson family on the anniversary of the murders, whether it be
              six years ago or seven years ago, watch it.  Now watch it knowing
              who Sharon Tate is as a person, not just a celebrity person who
              died, not just a famous victim.  You'll burst into tears watching
              the specials that we all grew up watching, because I think Sharon
              is taken seriously in a profound way.
              QUESTION:  There's always been talk, rumors about they are going
              to end at ten.  Do you really want to end with ten directorial
              films or will you ever -- will you ever stop?  We don't want you
              to stop.
              QUENTIN TARANTINO:  Well, thank you very much.  The whole idea is
              to leave them one more.  That's always the old vaudevillian's way
              of going out.  Yeah, I do like the idea of a ten-film
              filmography, especially a ten-film filmography where I have spent
              the last 30 years giving everything in the world that I have to
              this and then dropping the mic and saying, Okay, that's it, and
              there's other things to do.  I can write plays.  I can direct
              plays.  I can do a TV show.  I can do a lot of different things,
              but the filmography will stand, and there is an umbilical cord
              link from the tenth film to Reservoir Dogs.  So there is this
              artistic intention that carried from the beginning all the way
              through the end.  I think that's actually really kind of cool,
              and I think that's really terrific.  Also, as time as gone by,
              I've been making movies for a long time.  I've given them a lot,
              so now I like the idea of being more of a writer, just me and my
              pen and a piece of paper and just kind of doing it that way.  I
              can do one more question.  Sorry about that.  Thanks, guys.

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