Quentin Tarantino says he wouldn’t use the name ‘Tarantino’ if he was starting over: ‘I would be Quentin Jerome’

Filmmaker switched to his birth name when he became an adult ‘because it sounded cool’

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Quentin Tarantino has said he would choose to work under the name “Quentin Jerome” if he were given the chance to begin his career again.

Jerome is the filmmaker’s middle name. He inherited the name Tarantino from his father, actor Tony Tarantino, whom he did not meet until later in life.

Speaking to Marc Maron on the WTF podcast, the Pulp Fiction director explained that he had grown up using the surname Zastoupil, taken from his stepfather.

“I didn’t even know about the name Tarantino really at that time. I was Zastoupil,” he explained. “That was my name. I was always known by that. That’s how I learned to write.

“I never knew [my father] at all. So when I took the name Tarantino around 18 or 19, it was simply because it sounded cool, it was Italian. Quentin Tarantino sounded like a cool name. It had nothing to do with him. It had nothing to do with the family.

“It also had the benefit of reinvention,” he added, “because I had never used it.”

Maron then remarked that Tarantino represented the rare case of someone adopting a stage name that’s their actual given name.

“If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t use the name Tarantino,” said the filmmaker. “I would use my middle name, which is Jerome, as my last name. I would be Quentin Jerome.”

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