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Bruce Willis Really Pitched Himself Hard To Play Jules In Pulp Fiction

It would be hard to deny that writer and director Quentin Tarantino has had quite a career thus far, releasing more than a few films that could arguably be considered classics by any metric of the term. But it's difficult not to look back at the film that really catapulted Tarantino into the limelight as a filmmaker: "Pulp Fiction." Released in 1994, "Pulp Fiction" took audiences by storm and became a box office and critical sensation, grossing over $212 million worldwide (per The Numbers) and garnering a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

"Pulp Fiction" also featured an all-star cast, including Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, and Bruce Willis. Travolta and Jackson were even nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively, at the 67th Academy Awards, and it all but marked a big comeback for Travolta. However, it seems as if Willis, who portrayed Butch Coolidge in the film, really wanted the role of Jules Winnfield (Jackson) initially, and he was pretty insistent that he get that part.

The role of Butch was originally supposed to go to Matt Dillon

During a recent interview with the 2 Bears, 1 Cave podcast, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino revealed quite a bit about the work, dedication, and inspiration that goes into many of his projects. Interestingly enough, he also talked about the casting of Bruce Willis in "Pulp Fiction" and how he originally wrote the role of Butch for Matt Dillon, but Dillon was hesitant to accept the role. Tarantino eventually met Willis, who floated the idea of playing Vincent Vega (John Travolta) before trying to pitch the idea of playing Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson).

According to Tarantino, Willis wanted the role badly, even going so far as to suggest that, even though it was written for a Black actor, he could still inhabit the character's traits. Tarantino, however, suggested that Willis reread the script, only this time with the character of Butch in mind, and Willis eventually agreed. To add to this, Willis wasn't even originally an actor that the filmmaker considered, given that he was one of the biggest stars on the planet at the time. Still, Willis admitted that he was a big fan of "Reservoir Dogs" and wanted to be involved in "Pulp Fiction." Considering the latter's level of success, it's easy in hindsight to see why.