The 20th anniversary of Pulp Fiction is coming up, so expect to see a lot of Quentin Tarantino fans filling up the blogosphere with quotes from the movie, theories about what's in the briefcase, and how Bronagh Gallagher managed to wear a Frames t-shirt in the movie. Of immense curiosity to fans down the years has been the identity of the leather-wearing, trunk-inhabiting friend of Zed and Maynard, the Gimp. Steve Hibbert called Vulture to reveal the man behind the mask. Most people don't know that Hibbert played the iconic role, something he regrets a little, even though he says he would have done the part "for Trader Joe’s gift certificates! I would have done it for gas money!" Bizarrely, other actors have claimed to have played the Gimp. "Phil LaMarr, who’s in the film as well — he’s the young man [named Marvin] who gets his head blown off in the back of the car — he was at a party, this was a number of years ago, and he overheard this guy hitting on a gal, claiming to have played the Gimp in Pulp Fiction! It just seems like one of the worst ways — or maybe one of the best, depending on your predilection! — to try and pick someone up. So Phil went up to him and said, 'Hey, man! I was in Pulp Fiction, too! How’s it going?' And the guy immediately was like, “Uh ....” and just backtracked away, and ran away, basically. So apparently, people have tried."
Although Hibbert isn't recognized much for his role in the film, he did receive a lot of attention when the movie was first released. "There were people who bothered to sit through the credits way back in the day, to see who played the Gimp — and this was, of course, before you could Google someone, and this was back in the day when we all had landlines, and I was listed. So the first weekend it opened, I remember coming home on a Monday or Tuesday night and seeing 22 messages on my answering machine, and going, 'What the ...?' One was from my mom, and 21 of them were really creepy guys asking me out, at the very least, for a cup of coffee." Although being dressed head to toe in leather made filming uncomfortable, Hibbert says it freed him as an actor. "Having the mask on and being covered up freed me up to just be a complete weirdo, because I didn’t need to worry about my mom and dad seeing me and going, 'Oh, dear!' Peeling it off at the end of the day, I have a distinct memory of it being really horrible and wanting to have a shower so bad." The crew tried to move filming along, with Bruce Willis hurrying things up. "I have a very vivid memory of him saying that. 'Hey, let’s move on! We got a poor guy in a head-to-toe leather outfit here. Let’s go!' All of the actors were terrific. Bruce Willis was a lovely guy. And because everyone was kind of on equal footing on that movie, in terms of pay, it was an ensemble piece. We would all hang out at Bruce Willis’s trailer and drink at the end of the day, because he had a little veranda set up. And we’d watch baseball games. I think his assistant was making everyone gin-and-tonics — apparently one of the requirements of the job! And that’s a refreshing drink when it’s hot."
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