Back to IndieWire

Quentin Tarantino Vowed Never to Give His Mom Money After She Yelled at Him for Writing Scripts

Quentin Tarantino's teachers viewed his screenwriting as "a defiant act of rebellion" in class.

Quentin Tarantino to retire. File photo dated 2/2/2020 of Quentin Tarantino who has insisted he will retire after his next film. The acclaimed director of movies including Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained has long said he will call it a day after his 10th project. Issue date: Saturday June 26, 2021. See PA story SHOWBIZ Tarantino. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire URN:60581066 (Press Association via AP Images)

Quentin Tarantino


Quentin Tarantino revealed on Brian Koppelman’s “The Moment” podcast (via Insider) that his mother once berated him for writing screenplays in school instead of doing actual schoolwork. The director said his teachers viewed his screenwriting in class as “a defiant act of rebellion,” so they contacted his mom, who scolded him because she had “a hard time” with his “scholastic non-ability.”

“She was bitching at me about that and 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 shit is fucking over,'” Tarantino said. “She meant you just can’t do that in class when you should be doing something else.”

Tarantino retaliated by making a promise to himself: “When she said that to me in that sarcastic way, I was in my head and I go, ‘OK, lady, when I become a successful writer, you will never see penny one from my success. 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.'”

When asked if Tarantino stuck to his vow, the director responded: “Yeah. Yeah. I helped her out with a jam with the IRS. But no house. No Cadillac, no house.”

The director added, “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 embarked on a publicity tour this summer to promote his “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” novelization. The director said he will most likely adapt “Hollywood” into a stage play before he directs his next movie, which will be his last feature film if he sticks with his plan to retire. Tarantino is also working on his second book, a nonfiction work titled “Cinema Speculation” billed as “a deep dive into the movies of the 1970s, a rich mix of essays, reviews, personal writing, and tantalizing ‘what ifs.’”

“We’ll see what happens, but my plan is to do this book, I just did this, then finish the cinema book, then the next thing on the list is to start thinking about the play,” Tarantino told  “The Big Picture” podcast last month. “I’m not going to think about [my] last movie for a while. I’m doing other things right now.”

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox