Once a renegade, Tarantino turns Hollywood insider

Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:22pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - He built a reputation making movies on Hollywood's fringe, but at age 46 with one Oscar in hand and another possibly on the way, Quentin Tarantino now finds himself the consummate industry insider.

Tarantino famously broke into the ranks of up-and-coming directors with Sundance Film Festival favorite "Reservoir Dogs" in 1992, and two years later with co-writer Roger Avary, he won a golden Oscar for original screenplay with "Pulp Fiction."

With "Fiction," the former video store clerk turned low-budget filmmaker was able to weave three seemingly disparate stories into one cohesive tale of the Los Angeles underworld that turned Hollywood on its heels.

He is back at the Academy Awards in 2010 for World War Two fantasy "Inglourious Basterds," which earned eight nominations -- second to "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" with nine apiece -- including nods for Tarantino as writer and as director.

But where once he was lauded for being an outsider rewriting the rules of Hollywood, he is now seen as a key stitch in Tinseltown's fabric who turns up for events, promotes movies and gives back to the industry that made him famous.

"It hasn't been until this year that it really dawned on me the extent of that," Tarantino told Reuters about the change.

He said the contrast between old and new hit home at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governor Awards in November where luminaries such as Lauren Bacall and studio executive John Calley were given lifetime achievement awards by the likes of Steven Spielberg and others.

"There was something about being in that room with all those really solid Academy members," Tarantino said. "I wasn't the outsider anymore."   Continued...

<p>Director Quentin Tarantino at a party in Hollywood, September 29, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>