Burt Reynolds was responsible for one of the most memorable lines in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Reynolds, who died on September 2018 at the age of 82, was set to play George Spahn, the aging owner of the Spahn Ranch. Spahn allowed Charles Manson and his followers to live at his ranch in the time leading up to the murder of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski and Steve Parent.
Tarantino, 56, explained to Sight and Sound magazine via Uproxx that Reynolds came up with the line spoken by Bruce Lee (Mike Moh) about stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt): “You’re kinda pretty for a stunt guy.”
“I did not come up with that,” Tarantino said. “Burt Reynolds read the script and he knows a lot of stunt guys. And Burt said, ‘So Brad Pitt is playing the stunt guy?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And Burt says, ‘You gotta have somebody say, ‘You’re kinda pretty for a stunt guy.'”
Pitt, 55, wasn’t a huge fan of the line, however.
“And the thing is, Brad doesn’t like making his looks a thing in a movie, but he couldn’t say no to that, because it was Burt Reynolds’ line!” Tarantino continued. “And watching Brad grin and bear it is really great. Because he doesn’t really dig it. But the fact that Burt Reynolds came up with it — he can’t say s—!”
Reynolds was set to star in the film but he was replaced by Bruce Dern after his death.
In May, Pitt and Tarantino discussed working with Reynolds during rehearsals in an interview with Esquire.
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“I’ll tell you one of the greatest moments I’ve had in these however many years we’ve been at it in this town: getting to spend two days with Burt Reynolds on this film,” Pitt said.
The iconic actor was “the guy” Pitt looked up to when he was growing up in the Ozarks and watching Smokey and the Bandit.
“Virile. Always had something sharp to say — funny as s—,” Pitt said. “A great dresser. Oh, man. And I had never met him, so being there with him reminded me of how much I enjoyed him as a kid.”
Tarantino said, “The last performance Burt Reynolds gave was when he came down and did a rehearsal for that sequence, and then the script reading. And that was really amazing.”
“It was a f—ing pleasure,” Pitt added.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is now in theaters.