Hollywood director and Tel Aviv resident Quentin Tarantino told Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday of all the countries he could have lived in throughout the pandemic, he was glad to have been in Israel because it “handled COVID the best.”
“If I’m going to be in another country, the country that handled COVID the best is probably the best country to be in,” the Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood and Pulp Fiction director said about his nine month stay in Israel.
Tarantino married Israeli singer Daniella Pick, who is the daughter of local legend Tzvika Pick, and the couple had a baby in February 2020.
“The idea was that we would spend three to four months in Tel Aviv and four months in Los Angeles. But then COVID hit. So three to four months became nine to 12 months in Tel Aviv,” Tarantino told Kimmel.
Quentin Tarantino said his 16-month-old-son, Leo, had said his first word, abba – Hebrew for father.
Asked whether his son was named after Leonardo DiCaprio, who has appeared in two of Tarantino’s films, including Once Upon a Time in America, Tarantino laughed and said,” We almost didn’t name him that because people would assume that.” He went to say that the name was chosen for his wife’s grandfather, and because “in our hearts, he was our little lion, that’s how we thought about him.”
Tarantino told Kimmel that he had learned a lot of Hebrew words through children’s TV. “Cat is hatul, horse is sus, cow is para. I’m learning the ‘Sesame Street’ version of Hebrew.”
Kimmel how long it would be before the baby would start saying “the F-word,” the director said he hoped “as soon as possible.”
And when the host asked what would be the first movie he would show little Leo, Tarantino did not hesitate: “Taxi Driver,” the extremely dark 1976 Martin Scorsese classic starring Robert De Niro about an alienated New Yorker which is heavy on violence, profanity and cynicism and features a storyline about a child prostitute played by Jodie Foster.