In a recent interview with Howard Stern, the Inglourious Basterds director shared an anecdote from his early days in Hollywood, shortly after he made a huge splash with the iconic Pulp Fiction.
Spielberg, 75, called up Tarantino, 59, back in 1994 and invited him on a duck-hunting trip that would include directors Robert Zemeckis and John Milius, Tarantino explained.
"I was the new kid in town, and they were all really impressed with Pulp Fiction," Tarantino told Stern. "But one of the things that Steven wanted to do was, 'Look, you and Bob Zemeckis are going to be in competition the whole rest of this year with Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction. So, before that competition starts, maybe it'd be nice if we all went off and did something together to keep in mind we're all artists and we're all friendly."
Miramax/Buena Vista/Kobal/Shutterstock John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction (1994)
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Stern said he was impressed by Spielberg's savvy, to which Tarantino said was not even the best part of the trip. That came when Spielberg told him exactly how the Oscars were going to go down.
"Spielberg prides himself on understanding the business, so he's talking to me very pragmatically," Tarantino recalled. "So, we're walking through a forest or something and I am following behind him. He's like, 'So, here's what going to happen at the Oscars' — and we haven't even been nominated yet. 'I think it's going to be Bob who wins Best Picture. And I think it's going to be Bob who wins Best Director — in fact, I'm pretty sure of it. But, I do think you'll win Best Original Screenplay.' "
Continued Tarantino, "And then he stopped and turned around and looked at me: 'Second movie, little gold man — not too bad.' And started walking again."
Spielberg's assertion was exactly how it all played out, along with Tom Hanks nabbing the Best Actor statue for Forrest Gump.
Stern also asked Tarantino if he had a favorite movie of his from his career, to which the director said he was finally ready to say.
"I really do think Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is my best movie," he noted, adding that he enjoys watching his films and will sit through one if he happens upon it on TV. The 2019 film written and directed by Tarantino, starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning two, including Best Supporting Actor for Pitt.