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While visiting The Tonight Show on Wednesday, the director shared how his role as an Elvis Presley impersonator helped fund the 1992 film. “Before I did Reservoir Dogs, I had a very unsuccessful acting career,” he shared. “One of the jobs I did get — and not because I did a wonderful audition but simply because they sent my picture in and they said, ‘He’s got it’ — was for an Elvis impersonator on The Golden Girls.”
He added that it “worked” that he was cast because he “walked around dressed like Elvis in the ’80s.” Tarantino added, “I wore a pompadour all the time. I actually went to a rockabilly place to get my haircut.”
For his appearance on the sitcom, Tarantino’s Elvis impersonator performed at Sophia’s wedding. “It became a two-part Golden Girls, so I got paid residuals for both parts,” he said. “And it was so popular they put it on a best of The Golden Girls and I got residuals every time that showed. So I got paid maybe, I don’t know, $650 for that episode, but by the time the residuals were over three years later, I made like $3,000.”
“That kept me going during our preproduction time, trying to get Reservoir Dogs going,” he said.
Host Jimmy Fallon shared a clip of Tarantino’s appearance on The Golden Girls, which showed the director and a number of other impersonators singing “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.”
Following the clip, Tarantino noted that he took on the persona of the “Sun Records Elvis” for the episode. He then tapped into his character to sing a line from Presley’s “Got a Lot o’ Livin’ to Do!” with Fallon.
Watch Tarantino’s appearance below.
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