It’s been close to three decades since Quentin Tarantino’s pulp fiction came out, and the movie is still considered one of the best in its genre. The crime drama is mostly praised for its non-linear narrative, but aside from the plot and dialogue, the characters also add to the overall awesomeness. No role in the 1994 release can be thought of as poorly cast.
The performances are truly incredible but what have the actors been up to lately? Stars rise and fall but most of the actors that appeared in the Tarantino project have still managed to keep their names in the conversation. Others are even doing much better than they did when the movie was released.
Tim Roth – Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (2021)
Roth appears early on (and later) in pulp fiction as Ringo, aka, Pumpkin. He is a burglar who impulsively decides to rob a diner while having breakfast with his girlfriend.
In the MCU movie, Roth portrays Emil Blonsky, aka, Abomination. He is a former British Royal Marines special-ops soldier who was injected with the super-soldier serum to help capture the Hulk but now works as a tournament fighter at the Golden Daggers Club in Macau. Both of the Roth characters are villainous but Ringo has more depth. He gets to have plenty of dialogue while all Abomination does is fight.
John Travolta – Gotti (2018)
Travolta plays Vincent Vega, a hitman who works for the California crime boss Marsellus Wallace. He has the most arcs in the movie, including a near-affair with his boss’s wife.
The once-popular actor has seen his fame dwindle lately but one of his recent projects got much attention. Travolta plays the infamous Gambino crime family mob boss John Gotti in Gotti. Vega and Gotti are similar characters as they both thrive in crime and violence. Sadly, Gotti‘s weak script prevents it from being considered one of the best movies based on real-life organized crime.
Amanda Plummer – Ratched (2020)
Plummer is Ringo’s girlfriend, Yolanda, aka Honey Bunny. The two decide to rob a diner but their plan fails because Jules happens to be in the same diner too.
Ratcheted is a prequel to the critically-acclaimed ’70s movie, One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest, and in it, Plummer plays Louise, the owner of a motel. Lately, Plummer has taken up roles that require a laid-back approach to acting, and such is the case with Louise. Honey Bunny, on the other hand, is more than ready to jump on top of diner tables and yell endlessly.
Harvey Keitel – The Irishman (2019)
Keitel appears in the Tarantino movie as Winston Wolfe, a professional “cleaner” who is tasked with helping Vincent and Jules get rid of an associate’s dead body. He manages to do so in just under 45 minutes.
As one of the most celebrated Hollywood actors of all time, Keitel’s filmography is wide. He has slowed down on the blockbusters recently but fans might recognize him as mob boss Angelo Bruno in Scorsese’s recent mob flick, The Irishman. In both roles, Keitel comes off as the ever-composed criminal who is keen on not letting even a single thing go wrong in his organization.
Eric Stoltz – Madam Secretary (2014 – 2019)
Stoltz plays Vincent’s drug supplier who has to help him revive Mia after she overdoses on heroin. Despite dealing drugs, he is shown to have great medical knowledge, making him one of the smartest pulp fiction characters.
Recently, Stoltz has had a good run as Will Adams, the brother of US President, Elizabeth McCord on Madam Secretary. Once again, he gets to play a character with medical knowledge, though Will is a law-abiding citizen who serves as a doctor at a refugee camp. Life is fairly smooth for Will too as he rarely has to make any frantic decisions compared to Vincent’s dealer.
Christopher Walken – The War With Grandpa (2020)
Walken plays a Vietnam war veteran who delivers to Butch a watch belonging to his father. He then gives a powerful monologue about war.
In The War With Grandpa, Walken is Jerry, a friend of Robert DeNiro’s character, Ed. Fans aren’t used to seeing Walken in comedic roles but he does give an outstanding performance in the movie. The actor has mostly been at his best when he plays villains or hard-boiled protagonists. But since he is now 78, he’d be more than glad to take on more tame roles.
Samuel L. Jackson – Marvel Cinematic Universe
Jackson plays the hitman Jules, who is undoubtedly the most intriguing among the most likable Pulp Fictionaln characters. Apart from successfully making a collection for his boss from him, Jules also stops a diner robbery.
As one of the hardest working people in Hollywood, Jackson has over 200 movie credits. New generation viewers will best recognize him as the SHIELD boss Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Fury is nothing like the ruthless, Bible-quoting Jules, both characters can be considered heroic.
Uma Thurman – Suspicion (2022)
Thurman is Mia Wallace, the wife of California crime boss, Marsellus Wallace. She almost sleeps with Vincent but the plan comes to a halt when she overdoses on heroin.
Thurman stars in Apple TV+’s latest release, suspension. In it, she is a media mogul, whose son suddenly disappears, forcing her to do everything in her power de ella to get him back. Throughout her career, the actress has been typecast as a woman with plenty of power. But thanks to her unrivaled acting abilities, she always manages to make each role different from the last.
Ving Rhames – Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
Rhames’ role is that of crime boss Marsellus Wallace. He tasks two hitmen with making a collection and then gets kidnapped while chasing after a boxer who double-crossed him.
Rhames has been part of the Mission Impossible franchise ever since it started in 1996. It’s thanks to his role as Marsellus that he became an A-list star and he has never slowed down ever since. While he is usually brilliant in tough-guy roles, his role as IMF agent Luther Stickell is what has made him showcase his range as an actor.
Bruce Willis – Glass (2019)
Willis plays the cash-strapped boxer Butch Coolidge. After agreeing to lose as part of a match-fixing plan initiated by Marsellus, he double-crosses the crime boss and goes on the run.
The action star has literally become the king of B-movies lately. Not one to stay idle, he has appeared in at least 3 direct-to-video movies each year over the last decade. Recently, he jumped back to the blockbuster scene courtesy of Glass. Not often does Willis get to play super-powered individuals, so his role as David Dunn is definitely refreshing.
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