You’ve had some pretty sick torture scenes in your movies, but what would a torturer have to do to break you?
Well, my personal phobia is rats so a cage with a rat in it attached to my face would be pretty bad. The first time I went to Amsterdam I visited the Museum of Medieval Torture – those guys knew what they were talking about because nearly everything they did was aimed at the genitals. Surely it’s the best way to torture people, instead of fucking around, just get busy threatening the dick and balls.
Painful. What’s the sickest you’ve ever been?
I have been very healthy my whole life, although a little over a year ago I hurt my back really bad. I ruptured one of my discs. My back just locked up, it was horrific and I couldn‘t believe the feeling of helplessness I had. Until I had an epidural I was literally laid out on the floor, and I couldn’t move.
The worst thing about it was it happened while I was in The Philippines, so in the end I managed to get the President’s chiropractor to visit me and he got me up on my feet. I thought I was okay but the problem was that whenever I laid down again it seized up and I was stuck. Eventually I had to get through the whole plane ride getting back home.
What was the last outfit you wore to a fancy dress party?
The other day I actually wore a Versace tuxedo. I just had it fitted for me…
That’s not really fancy dress. Haven’t you ever dressed up as a giant chicken or an obscure character from Star Wars?
Ah, it’s lost in translation: you mean what did I last wear to a costume party. It was last Halloween and I went as a Spaghetti Western hero. I actually took the costume I wore for a Japanese film called Sukiyaki Western Django I did with director Takeshi Miike. My character had a really cool cowboy hat, poncho, holster with bullets and a tiny thing to hold your chopsticks.
Have you ever taken a girl to a movie you’ll hate, just so you could feel her up in the back row?
Oh for sure. I have never done it with something I am positively dying to see, but I have taken a girl to a drive-in and ended up fucking around and making out on the back seat pretty much for the entire movie. We went to see The Seventh Sign starring Demi Moore and started kissing at the beginning and couldn’t stop. I’ve also been given a handjob in a cinema.
Not many people can say that…
You’re fucking right. It was during a screening of [’30s comedy] The Ruggles Of Red Gap. The only time that has happened in the history of the world, the only time anyone has gotten a handjob in The Ruggles Of Red Gap was me.
What’s the biggest nightmare you’ve ever faced on set?
It was when I was making Death Proof. There was a shot I had in my head for a while which was tricky and dangerous. It was when the girls decide to go after Stunt Man Mike, and so he hops half in and half out the car. It was going to be so fucking dangerous for Zoe [Bell, the leading actress and stunt woman in the film].
The cameraman hit the button, but the camera didn’t start rolling. I said, “Wait a minute! Is the camera on?” He said, “Yes it is,” but he didn’t look. All he had to do was to look. Now when the director says, “Is this camera on?” and you are right beside the camera, you should have a fucking look. We did this thing and it was perfect. And it never got filmed. We tried it four other times afterwards and we never got anywhere near. It was doomed. And that was the closest to a temper tantrum I’ve had on set.
Have you forgiven the guy that didn’t check the camera?
It was hard. I just got in my car and drove off the set. I stormed out. And I was driving down the road going, “Fucking this,” and, “Fucking that.” It’s not like I am going to fire him, because he’s never going to ever do that again! And the thing is I will gain nothing from firing him. It is not going to happen again, and when you can destroy somebody and then you don’t, they appreciate it.
Do you have an amazing character that you haven’t been able to place in a film yet?
Inglourious Basterds was built around these crazy characters… That was how this film happened. I came up with these characters years ago, but it was for a different story and I realised that it wouldn’t work as a movie, so I put it away in a drawer and made Kill Bill. When I came back to it I thought, “Okay, I need to make this a movie,” so I came up with a new story just with the same characters.
What day do they do your bins round your way?
That would definitely be Thursday.
The same day as Jason Statham…
He must live in the Hollywood Hills, then.
Is your house a mess?
I’m a bachelor, so literally my place is like a dorm room. A fraternity house of one. If you walked in the door you would just see lots of stacks of shit. You could come to my house to visit and bring a copy of FHM with you and put it on the counter, and three years later you could come back and that magazine would still be on that counter.
I have a problem throwing stuff out. I lose respect for people who disconnect their video tape player. If you don’t have a record player, if you don’t have a vinyl player that you can play, if you don’t have your VCR still connected to your TV, you go down a little bit in my estimations.
Have you ever been so irate with a critic you’ve contacted them direct?
I don’t have an adversarial relationship with critics. Usually the reviews that are going to attack me just to attack me are pretty brutal because I have become an easy target. It can be very annoying, definitely. There was a time as a critic when you were defined about how you felt about me. You were either for me or against me.
You’ve just made a World War II film. What are your top five war movies?
Just off the top of my head? Number one would be The Great Escape. That’s definite, and then in no order, The Dirty Dozen, Where Eagles Dare, a film called Action In Arabia directed by a terrific Russian director called Léonide Moguy, Billy Wilder’s Five Graves To Cairo, and I must mention Paratroop Command by one of my favourite directors, William Witney.
We’ll be sure to order them off of Amazon. This month we have Eliza Dushku, but if you edited FHM who would you put on the cover?
Obviously I’d be tempted by someone from my new film Inglourious Basterds just to get the plug in there, but I guess I’d have to go for Uma Thurman. I actually have access to one of the greatest cover girls in the history of publications and I’d be kind of an idiot not to use that, right?
Inglourious Basterds is out on August 21