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‘I thought, I’m in trouble!’: Pam Grier explains why filming Tarantino’s Jackie Brown left her ‘exhausted’

Actor starred as the title character opposite Samuel L Jackson in Quentin Tarantino’s film about a flight attendant turned smuggler

Isobel Lewis
Saturday 24 December 2022 10:03 GMT
The Delfonics enter in the Jackie Brown's soundtrack

Pam Grier has explained why her performance in Jackie Brown left her “exhausted”.

Grier stars as the titular character in Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film about a flight attendant (Grier) who works as a smuggler for Ordell Robbie (Samuel L Jackson), an arms trafficker.

In a new interview for the film’s 25th anniversary, Grier said that her initial reaction to the script hadn’t been a positive one.

“I thought, I’m in trouble. I’m gonna have to work really hard, because I don’t want to be fired!” she told Yahoo Entertainment.

Grier said that once shooting began, she struggled with the pace of the filming.

“Quentin told me that Sam had a metronome-like quality that’s really fast, but that I’d have to slow down for Robert [Forster],” she recalled. “He warned me that not all actors can do that, so I had to learn.”

Forster played bail bondsman Max Cherry, who helps Jackie execute a plan to escape with Ordell’s smuggled money.

She continued: “Quentin said to slow my pace down to avoid revealing that I’m planning a scheme.“Max knows people inside and out, and knows when they’re fooling him — he can smell me if I’m lying.

“But I also need him, so it’s not cut-and-dried. That’s why you’re exhausted when you work with Quentin Tarantino and his characters!”

Grier in ‘Jackie Brown’ (Miramax Films)

Jackie Brown is Tarantino’s third film, following on from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.

The director has always said he will only ever make 10 movies, meaning that, as he counts both parts of Kill Bill as one film, his next movie will be his last.

Tarantino confirmed this in 2021, saying that he’s given his career “everything I have, every single solitary thing I have”.

“I don’t have a reason that I would want to say out loud, that’s going to win any argument in a court of public opinion or supreme court or anything like that,” he said.

“At the same time, working for 30 years doing as many movies as I’ve done, it’s not as many as other people, but that’s a long career. That’s a really long career.”

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