Famed director Quentin Tarantino released his ninth film over the summer in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was everything that comes with a Tarantino flick, interesting characters, great dialogue and a huge payoff at the end (though the ending didn’t hit like his other films for me, it was still awesomely brutal).
One of the characters, Rick Dalton, was brilliantly brought to life on the screen by Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio. If you’ll recall, when we left Rick, he had just flambéd a member of the Charles Manson family with a flamethrower that he’d taken from one of his movies. His film career up until that point was one big question mark, but did that event change anything? Now that he was kind of a hero and had also opened up a friendly relationship with Sharon Tate, does that mean he’s been given the happy ending he so desperately wanted? Tarantino recently spoke with TheWrap let fans in on what happened to the western TV star after the film.
“The whole incident with the flamethrower and the hippies got a lot of play,” he told the outlet. “No one quite knows what a big deal that was, but it was still a big deal. And it’s a big deal that he killed ‘em with the flamethrower, with the prop from one of his most popular movies. So he starts becoming in demand again. I mean, not in demand like Michael Sarrazin at that time was in demand, but he’s got some publicity and now all of a sudden “The 14 Fists of McCluskey” is playing more on Channel 5 during Combat Week and stuff. And so he gets offered a couple of features — low-budget ones, but studio ones.”
Tarantino continued, “But the thing is, on the episodic-TV circuit, he’s a bigger name now. He’s not quite Darren McGavin, all right? Darren McGavin would get paid the highest you could get paid as a guest star back in that time. But Rick’s about where John Saxon was, maybe just a little bit higher. So he’s getting good money and doing the best shows. And the episodes are all built around him.”
I have to say, I lost DiCaprio within a few minutes of him appearing on screen as Rick Dalton. As famous as he is, I no longer saw DiCaprio, only Rick Dalton. It’s also nice to learn that Dalton went on being paid well and was properly featured while making his rounds on different series, as during the film his future didn’t look too bright at times, especially after Al Pacino’s character explained how things work around the circuit.
It’s possible we haven’t seen the last of Rick Dalton as Tarantino says he has written five episodes of Bounty Law, the show within the film in which Dalton starred. Sounds good to me, I will watch. I actually think Tarantino should move into television, do six-episode series that are spin-offs of his classic films.
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