Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood should fare well at the Oscars this weekend in multiple categories. Leonardo DiCaprio probably won’t win best actor since Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker turn has been sweeping all of the awards shows, but Leo’s gonna be alright. The same goes for his latest Tarantino character, Rick Dalton, who the auteur previously predicted would do alright following the aftermath of the revisionist revenge flick. QT reckoned that Dalton’s social call to the home shared by Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski would have led to some career talks, but that Dalton would have likely settled into some lucrative “older cop” roles on TV.
That would be a respectable enough turn for Dalton, who was certainly struggling throughout the movie to maintain his film industry foothold. However, Tarantino gave the matter some more thought, and as Collider reveals, he enthusiastically (is there any other way for him?) opened up about his imagined new path for Dalton during a recent screening and Q&A session. As it turns out, Rick’s flamethrower moves against the Manson goons had an impact, and it made Dalton an industry legend. Oh boy:
“The whole incident with the flamethrower and the hippies got a lot of play. No one quite knows what a big deal that was, but it was still a big deal. And i’ts a big deal that he killed ’em with the flamethrower, with the prop from one of his most popular movies. So he starts becoming in demand again … now all of a sudden, The 14 Fists of McCluskey is playing more on Channel 5 during Combat Week and stuff. And so he gets offered a couple of features — low-budget ones, but studio ones. But the thing is, on the episodic-TV circuit, he’s a bigger name now … Rick’s about where John Saxon was, maybe just a little bit higher. So he’s getting good money and doing the best shows. And the episodes are all built around him. So as opposed to doing Land of the Giants and Bingo Martin, now he’s the bad guy on Mission: Impossible, and it’s his episode…”
There’s actually a lot more inside that quote, which you can read here, and Tarantino really nerds out on his TV history. He concludes, “You know, he’s doing okay.” And hopefully he can rehire Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth again! Just leave the acid cigarettes at home, okay? And give Brandy all the fancy treats.