While speaking with actress/comedian Margaret Cho on her podcast (via IndieWire), writer/director Quentin Tarantino gave a bit of his own personal insight to where Rick Dalton’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) career may have ended up after the events at his home where Cliff and himself were attacked by the Manson Family.

It doesn’t sound like meeting Sharon Tate is going to be the big break that many of us assumed it would be at the end of the film.

Quentin suggests that Dalton would have actually still had a career on television, but not in the way you might think. Playing the boss of younger actors on cop shows as many of the actors that inspired Dalton actually ended up doing once the western genre fizzled-out.

TARANTINO: “There are a few different ways his career could have gone depending on who you hitch your horse to of who he is representing. The George Maharis way is this way, the Tye Hardin way is that way. It’s a combination of a few of them.”

“What could have easily have happened, even if he had a little bit more success in the 1970s than maybe I give him credit for, what I could really see happening, because it happened to a lot of these guys, is that by the late 1970s, early 1980s, a lot of these macho ’50s and ’60s television leading men they showed up on TV shows again but as the older cop who’s the boss of the younger cop that sends them out on the missions.”

“If you look at it, Earl Holliman is that kind of guy and had that character in ‘Police Women,’ he was her boss and sends her around on the mission.”

It’s a little disheartening to hear that Rick Dalton wasn’t actually going to get his big break from Roman Polanski and get a career resurgence which I think many of us assumed would have happened (or at least we’re lead to believe could happen).

However, I sort of feel like that might just be the trajectory of Rick from the get-go the idea is that this was a story of a television actor that just didn’t make the jump to Hollywood feature films as many of his peers did.

Anyways, the film was fantastic and I hope that it gets some love during the awards season. I’m sure it’ll become a contender for the Academy Awards next year.

Sony Pictures had originally planned to release the film in China, but Quentin Tarantino stuck to his guns and refused to cut his film to appease government censors as R-rated movies aren’t allowed in the country.

Actor Rick Dalton gained fame and fortune by starring in a 1950s television Western, but is now struggling to find meaningful work in a Hollywood that he doesn’t recognize anymore. He spends most of his time drinking and palling around with Cliff Booth, his easygoing best friend and longtime stunt double. Rick also happens to live next door to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate — the filmmaker and budding actress whose futures will forever be altered by members of the Manson Family.


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