Monday, September 29, 2003

Chris Suellentrop quotes Quentin Tarantino's mom, Connie Zastoupil, in a Sept. 16 article in Slate:

"I wanted a name that would fill up the entire screen," she told Vanity Fair in 1994. "A multisyllable name: Quen-tin Ta-ran-ti-no." His first name was lifted from William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, but it was also inspired by the Burt Reynolds character, Quint, from Gunsmoke. And his last name? She made it up. It just sounded cool.
I don't know what Connie Zastoupil told Vanity Fair, but the part about making up "Tarantino" isn't true. That's a bit sloppy if you're going to make that the lead in an otherwise brilliant article on Tarantino's talent, and his rise, fall and possible comeback. Tony Tarantino was Quentin's biological father's real name. Connie later married a Czech-American guy named Curt Zastoupil, who passed away a couple years ago.

I don't know this because I'm a geek (although I am) but because Connie Zastoupil told me herself. Connie used to live here in Prague, where I socialized with her a several times. She's a remarkable and hilarious woman -- sort of how you might imagine Quentin Tarantino's mom. When a Czech friend complimented her on her excellent pronounciation of her own last name, she shot back without skipping a beat, "It does have a few vowels in it. That helps."