Most celebrities enjoy helping their families once they hit it big, but filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is not like most celebrities. During a recent interview, the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director revealed that he vowed never to help his mother if he did not support his dreams when he was 12, and he has stuck to that pledge. It all dates back to his mother yelling at him for writing movie screenplays in school instead of paying attention.
One day, his teachers punished him for writing screenplays during the school day. "They looked at it as a defiant act of rebellion that I'm doing this instead of my school work," Tarantino told Billions co-creator Brian Koppelman in the July 28 episode of The Moment podcast, via PEOPLE. Tarantino's mother "had a hard time about my scholastic non-ability," the two-time Oscar-winner said.
Tarantino's mother was "b—ing at me" about writing movies, then "in the middle of her little tirade, she said, 'Oh, and by the way, this little 'writing career,' with the finger quotes and everything. This little 'writing career' that you're doing? That s— is over,'" the Pulp Fiction director recalled. In response, young Tarantino sarcastically told his mother he would never support her if he became a successful writer. "There will be no house for you. There's no vacation for you, no Elvis Cadillac for mommy. You get nothing. Because you said that," he recalled telling her.
A surprised Koppelman asked Tarantino if he followed through with this. He said the most he has ever done for his mother is help her "out with a jam with the IRS," but he never bought her a house or a car. Tarantino suggested the experience gave him the drive to succeed, though. "There are consequences for your words as you deal with your children. Remember there are consequences for your sarcastic tone about what's meaningful to them," Tarantino told Kopelman.
Tarantino's own parenting plans will be different from his mother's. The director and his wife Daniella are parents to 17-month-old son Leo, to whom he dedicated his Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novelization. In an interview with Deadline last month, Tarantino said his son could watch some of his movies as young as 5, despite the graphic violence in many of them.
"That depends on his interest. If we're judging by me, I saw a lot of stuff early on when it came out, you know, so I would imagine [early]," Tarantino explained. "If I had to imagine, he would probably, as a little boy, be most attracted to Kill Bill, anywhere between 5, 6, or 7."
It's a good thing in Tarantino's case that he did not let his mother dissuade him from screenwriting. He has Oscars for his original screenplays for Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. Inglorious Basterds and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood also earned him screenplay nominations. In June, he released the novelization of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, his first novel.