July 22, 2006
Much to the excitement of the Comic-Con gathering, Tarantino revealed that Russell will play Stuntman Mike, the killer in the "Pulp Fiction" director's segment of the exploitation double-bill "Grind House."
Russell will reunite with "Sky High" co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the project. Also cast are Rose McGowan, Marley Shelton and Rosario Dawson, who are featured in "Planet Terror," Robert Rodriguez's "Grind House" contribution. Stuntwoman Zoe Bell, who did Uma Thurman's more difficult action in "Kill Bill," will take another lead role, playing herself.
Rodriguez's film is nearly finished and Tarantino's is a month from production, with "Grind House" aiming for an Easter 2007 release.
Much of the talk at the "Grind House" Comic-Con panel centered on Russell, a 1979 Emmy nominee for "Elvis," who took the part original rumored for Mickey Rourke.
"I always wanted to work with Kurt Russell from the very beginning," Tarantino says. "For Snake Plissken, he's gotta do like a Clint Eastwood thing and Jack Burton in 'Big Trouble in Little China,' he's gotta do the John Wayne thing and what I loved about it, is there's a lot of actors who wouldn't do that. And as serious as he is, he also knows that acting, you're a child, alright? It's playtime, and there's a playfulness about him going that way and committing to it 100 percent and, as far as I'm concerned, when it came to Snake Plissken, making one of the most iconic characters to come out in the last 20 years."
In typical breathless Tarantino style, he continues, "So I've always admired him and I've always through that he had a lot of balls to actually do a Clint Eastwood impression with Lee Van Cleef, such f***ing balls. I can't wait. I think Stuntman Mike is one of the best characters I've ever written, I actually think it will join his rogue's gallery to a T."
The "Death Proof" co-stars are excited to work with Russell, most recently seen in "Poseidon."
"I think it's going to be really badass," Dawson says. "I'm gonna ask him about being Elvis."