According to legend, Quentin Tarantino had the opportunity to cast Daniel Day-Lewis and Sean Penn in the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, but passed over both actors in favour of John Travolta, who was best known at the time for the talking baby opuses Look Who’s Talking and Look Who’s Talking Too. So it’s entirely appropriate that for his Live Read event of the Pulp Fiction screenplay yesterday, Jason Reitman made some equally unusual casting choices.
While it’s easy to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the role of Vincent Vega, some of Reitman’s other casting choices definitely qualify as eyebrow-raising: Jonah Hill read the part of Butch (played by Bruce Willis in the film) while Michael Chiklis (best known for his portrayal tough guy cop Vic Mackey on The Shield) read the part of cowardly college student Brett as well as the parts of Captain Koons (played by Christopher Walken in the film) and the Wolf (played by Harvey Keitel).
Rounding out the cast were Seth Rogen (who read the roles of drug dealer Lance, the hillbilly rapist Maynard, and Jimmie), Wendell Pierce (who read the part of crime boss Marsellus Wallace), Rebecca Romijn (who read the parts of Colombian cab driver Esmarelda and Butch’s French girlfriend Fabienne), Jordan Peele (who read the part of Samuel L. Jackson’s character), Lizzy Caplan (who read the roles of Honey Bunny and Mia Wallace), and Nick Kroll (who read the parts of English Dave, the manager at the diner, the boxing trainer, Marvin, and the Gimp).
The sold-out crowd reportedly burst into applause at regular intervals. The moment where Gordon-Levitt and Caplan got out of their seats to dance to Chuck Berry was particularly well-received.