US actor Brad Pitt (L) and US film director Quentin Tarantino pose during a photocall for the film “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 22, 2019. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

For any affluent person, the beginning of their career is as bizarre as it is plainly simple; a foot in the door or a chance encounter is all that is needed for greatness to attract. And for award-winning director Quentin Tarantino, it was a $3,000 paid gig which supported him through his early spark of genius. Appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the cult filmmaker revealed the decisions that changed the course of his career forever.

Some would recall the then-extra appearing in the 1988 episode ‘Sophia’s Wedding’ of The Golden Girls. Following the hilarious antics and misadventures of Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sophia, if you look closely at the famous instalment, you would spot Tarantino posing as an Elvis impersonator in the background. According to the 56-year-old, it was the money he earned from that opportunity that helped him through the pre-production phase of his directorial debut of Reservoir Dogs. 

“It became a two-part ‘Golden Girls,’ so I got paid residuals for both parts,” Tarantino said on the television talk-show. “It was so popular they put it on a ‘Best of The Golden Girls,’ and I got residuals every time that showed. So I got paid maybe, I don’t know, $650 for the episode, but by the time the residuals were over, three years later, I made like $3,000 [nearly $5,700 in 2019]. And that kept me going during our pre-production time trying to get ‘Reservoir Dogs’ going.”

The 1992 debut film of Quentin Tarantino has had mixed reviews and while some critics believe it has aged poorly, it ultimately launched the cult status of the director. 27 years later and Tarantino released his ninth film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which won Best Motion Picture for a Musical or Comedy at the recent Golden Globes – now, a strong contender for an Oscar.