Chris Pine Finds Out Tarantino Included Pine’s Family History in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

"My mother was ecstatic, just over the moon," Pine said about Tarantino including his family history in "Hollywood."
Chris Pine and "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"
Chris Pine and "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"
Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP and Sony

Quentin Tarantino appeared on The Ringer’s “Rewatchables” podcast at the start of 2020 and revealed that Chris Pine is “hands down my favorite” actor of his generation. It turns out the “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill” director’s love for Pine extends to Pine’s family tree. Pine’s grandmother is Anne Gwynne, the American actress who starred in dozens of films throughout the 1940s. Gwynne’s credits include Westerns such as “Men of Texas” and “Ride ‘Em Cowboy,” plus a string of horror movies like “Black Friday” and “House of Frankenstein.” Tarantino happens to be a Gwynne super-fan.

“I’ve been to the Academy Awards a couple of times and I always take my mom and we have a great old time and laugh a bunch and she holds all the Power Bars,” Pine said on the first episode of J. Claude Deering’s new podcast, adding that he ran into Tarantino one year at the Vanity Fair after-party. “He knows everything about my grandmother. He knows film names, co-stars, directors, production designers, just unbelievable. So [he and my mother] ended up talking for about 40 minutes and I went off and got another martini.”

Tarantino’s love for Anne Gwynne would manifest years later in the director’s ninth feature film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” During one of the film’s major sequences set on Spahn Ranch, a group of characters are huddled around a television watching an Anne Gwynne movie. Pine tells Deering on the podcast he loved watching “Hollywood,” although he totally missed Tarantino’s nod to his grandmother during his initial viewing.

“I call my folks and ask them if they’d seen it,” Pine said. “They saw it, loved it, and my mom says, ‘You know, that scene at the ranch [with Bruce Dern] and there’s a TV on?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I vaguely kind of remember this.’ But she said, ‘On the television is one of my mother’s films.’ So, I have yet to get in touch with [Tarantino], and my mother actually wrote me up an email that I was going to forward to him. Obviously, it’s so sweet of him and I’m assuming that was done on purpose. My mother was ecstatic, just over the moon.”

There was a time when Tarantino and Pine’s careers seemed like they might intersect as the director was considering making an R-rated “Star Trek” movie. Pine stars as Captain Kirk in the space franchise. Tarantino worked on a story that was recently revealed to be a crossover between “Star Trek” and a 1930s gangster movie. Tarantino has since said it’s unlikely he directs the movie.

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