Viggo Mortensen Turned Down Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight,’ Also Auditioned for ‘Reservoir Dogs’
Viggo Mortensen and Quentino Tarantino are but two lonely ships passing in the night, like two souls who must love each other from afar because they’re always committed to someone or something else. Mortensen has revealed that not only did he turn down the chance to appear in The Hateful Eight, but he also once auditioned for Reservoir Dogs. Will these two crazy kids ever work it out?
Last year, we heard that Tarantino had his eye on Mortensen to play the role of a gang leader in The Hateful Eight — that didn’t work out, though Tarantino has assembled quite the cast for his next project. In a new interview with Grantland, Mortensen opened up about how he had to turn down the film due to pesky scheduling conflicts, but he also revealed that it wasn’t the first time he almost worked with Tarantino:
All of last fall, I traveled nonstop. I was on a plane every two days to promote Jauja and Far From Men. I knew as a producer and an actor that I needed to do that for those movies to have a chance to be seen. [Tarantino] wanted to start shooting at the end of the year and do rehearsals before that, and I just couldn’t do that schedulewise. That’s the only reason [I passed]. It would have been really, really fun to work with him. I think he’s really smart and funny. I’d never sat down and talked to him that much, although I did audition for Reservoir Dogs, which he remembered.
But which character might Mortensen have played? Tarantino remembers him, but Mortensen can’t quite remember which role he auditioned for in the director’s film:
I don’t know which one it was. It was one of them. I might have auditioned for two. I had fun. I did one take where I made the character Hispanic. I remember it was in this tiny office on the Fox lot, I think, and I read with Harvey Keitel. I wish [The Hateful Eight] would have worked out, but that’s what I’m talking about [when committing to a movie]: You either see these films through to the end or you don’t.
It might have been pretty interesting to see Mortensen’s take on one of the great, memorable characters from Reservoir Dogs, particularly if the Danish-American actor had it his way and played the role as a Hispanic man.
Surely Mortensen can make time in his busy schedule for Tarantino before both of them eventually retire.
The Hateful Eight hits theaters on November 13.