Phase9 Entertainment

KILL BILL VOLUME 2 - US interview with David Carradine

Have you found a kindred spirit in Quentin Tarantino?

Absolutely. You notice I'm shaking my head when I say it.

It must be weird for someone so identified with kung fu and martial arts, to find someone who's probably imminently more knowledgeable about that.

Well, he's got a fascination for martial arts, but I think you can tell by the movie and what I do in it, that he actually didn't hire me as a martial artist, he hired me as an actor. He's seen all my movies. Well, nobody's seen all my movies. I haven't seen all my movies. But he's seen a lot of them. Anyway, that's why he hired me. He likes to listen to me talk obviously.

That's why he writes that poignant dialogue for you.

Yes he did.

The audiences come to really expect a monster from Bill. And with a title like KILL BILL there's no real suspense as to what's going to happen.

Well, that's just one of the endless tricks that Quentin is always playing on everybody. For the first half of the movie... I call VOLUME 1 the first half of the movie because it is one movie, and it's an epic, no doubt about it A three-and-a-half hour epic. And someday that's how you'll be seeing it, all in one piece. We just did, with a six-month intermission. But you're wondering who is this monster? Then you meet him and he's kinda like Cary Grant or something... I'm talking about what he wrote, not what I did.

As heretic as it may seem, it's almost a sentimental Tarantino, isn't it?

It is. And he might think that was heretic, but nothing that Tarantino does is an accident, it's all on purpose. He wanted to show everything, and that's one of the things... this picture, at the root level, is a love story. It's a Tarantino style love story, shoot people in the head and stuff like that, but it is a love story. And that becomes very clear by the end of the picture.

At least Bill explains his motives... in the classic understatement of all time.

He says it's not really an explanation... he says that in the picture. But yeah, she pissed him off, what the hell.

And he overreacted.


Given that the anticipation of the ultimate showdown is so high, is there any way to avoid somewhat of an anti-climax?

I don't think it is an anti-climax, but Quentin wanted to surprise, and he certainly did. The way that we do it, and I don't want to reveal it, but in the original script that I read there's a totally different kind of battle, let's say, at the end than what we did. And I came on to the set and all of sudden everything was changed and I had twenty minutes to learn the battle, and it was the funniest damn idea I have ever heard of, what Quentin decided to do - and that's Quentin.

There's a certain poetic justice to it.

Everything about Quentin is, I don't know, poetic, sure... ironic, funny, he's always funny, and like you say, sentimental. It brings a tear to your eye.

It just seems so absurd, doesn't it?

Well, he is an absurdist.

There is a lot of introspection, a lot of character development in VOLUME 2. Tarantino has always described Bill as a pimp of death. But there seems to be more to the man.

Yeah, quite a bit. As a professional, that's what he does. He finds these young girls and turns them into assassins, controls them, and he likes to do it with beautiful women. And of course he gives his little brother a job. You gotta do that. And Michael Madsen, isn't he remarkable in this picture?... I've fallen in love with that guy. I'm starting to babble...

Just about the depth of character to Bill.

One of the things I think Quentin wanted to do was give me a chance to show some stuff that I've probably never shown on film, and so he wrote all that... I'm sort of the Samuel L Jackson of this picture. I'm the guy that embodies the Tarantino rap. Tarantino likes to write a character that just talks incessantly because that's what Quentin does, he talks incessantly and he laughs all the time, every sentence of Quentin's has a laugh in it.

Tarantino seems to have a gift for casting actors who have, let's say, been under-appreciated lately. In that respect, do you owe a certain debt of gratitude, I suppose?

Oh sure. But we all do. He also discovers - look at that one. And occasionally he'll use an icon who's on top of the game, like his use of Bruce Willis. He didn't exactly pull him out of obscurity, but he let Bruce really wail, and he does that. And he doesn't hire any do-do's. One of the things he does is to hire someone he knows will take this opportunity and fly with it. I think I did that in this picture.

I'm sure you're great. Keep tight. See you later.

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