Julianna Margulies reveals how Quentin Tarantino made sure his episode of ER would be his cut

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Jolie Lash
·2 min read
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Twenty-six years ago, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Quentin Tarantino directed an episode of ER called "Motherhood," and on Thursday we learned exactly why it fit his movie-making style.

While taking part in a virtual cast reunion on Stars in the House with cohosts James Wesley and Seth Rudetsk, Julianna Margulies recalled filming the 1995 episode and just how fast it was shot.

"When Quentin Tarantino came to direct us – and he was such a big fan of the show -- he only did one take so they didn't have a choice to edit," she shared as she joined fellow ER alums including George Clooney, Gloria Reuben, and Noah Wyle.

The actress, who played nurse Carol Hathaway on the long-running NBC drama, explained that the actors spent a lot of time prepping off camera to make that single take absolutely perfect. "So we would rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. We'd do one take and he goes, 'Good, let's move on.' And I said, 'Why are you doing that?' and he said, 'It'll be my cut no matter what!'"

Way back in 1995, EW's Anna Holmes broke down just how Tarantino-esque the director's episode was, noting that just like in Reservoir Dogs, someone had an ear sliced off. That particular touch was written in for the director by ER supervising producer Lydia Woodward.

"The severed ear was my only direct homage," Woodward told EW at the time. She did note, however, that she "grossed out the traumas a bit more."

Thursday's ER reunion for Earth Day benefitted Waterkeeper Alliance, a clean water organization whose president is Reuben. At the virtual cast event, Clooney tackled the idea of a possible reboot – and shot down all of our hopes.

"When you look at the show, over so many years, it would be hard to say you could do it at the level that we did it," he said on Stars in the House, adding, "It's hard to catch lightning in a bottle again."

Watch the discussion above.

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