10 Quentin Tarantino Side Characters Who Stole The Show

In a 2015 interview, Quentin Tarantino told Vulture, “It’s all about my characters. I actually think my characters are going to be one of my biggest legacies after I’m gone.” For Tarantino, story is secondary to character. As engaging as his plots are, audiences go to his movies to see the violent exploits of antiheroes like the Bride, Vincent Vega, and Django Freeman.

From Reservoir Dogs’ Mr. White to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Rick Dalton, Tarantino’s main protagonists are always compelling. But his supporting characters often steal the show, like Floyd in True Romance and Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained.


10/10 Mr. Blonde In Reservoir Dogs

Mr Blonde tortures a cop in Reservoir Dogs

Mr. Blonde is a classic example of a villain that audiences love to hate. Michael Madsen’s portrayal of this psychopathic killer is hauntingly charming. He takes center stage in the most memorable scene in Reservoir Dogs.

While brutally torturing a cop he kidnapped, Mr. Blonde eerily dances to Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You.” The darkly comedic juxtaposition of the breezy pop rock hit against the unsettling sight of an ear-severing created an unforgettable movie moment.

9/10 Pai Mei In Kill Bill: Volume 2

Pai Mei teaches the Bride in Kill Bill Volume 2

After Kill Bill: Volume 1 demonstrated the extent of Beatrix “The Bride” Kiddo’s deadliness, with the massacre at the House of Blue Leaves followed by the scalping death of O-Ren Ishii, Volume 2 showed audiences who taught her to be so deadly. Gordon Liu appears as Pai Mei, the Bride’s former master.

He’s incredibly strict and demanding of his students, but the rewards of that tough love are obvious. With his hilariously short temper and his long, draping beard, Pai Mei steals the show in the training sequences.

8/10 Dr. King Schultz In Django Unchained

Dr Schultz drinks a beer in Django Unchained

Jamie Foxx’s titular slave-turned-bounty hunter is the lovable antihero at the center of Tarantino’s spaghetti western gem Django Unchained. But his mentor and sidekick, dentist-turned-bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz, steals many of his scenes with endearing compassion and eccentric humor.

Christoph Waltz won an Academy Award for his supporting turn as Dr. Schultz. He’s a joy to watch before he’s gunned down and the movie feels like it’s missing something in the final act after his untimely death.

7/10 Trudi Fraser In Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Trudi reading a book in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

The lead trio of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood consists of has-been TV cowboy Rick Dalton, his unemployed stunt double Cliff Booth, and real-life movie star Sharon Tate. But Julia Butters gives an unforgettable performance in the film’s day-in-the-life middle act.

As Rick waits to shoot his scenes for the Lancer pilot, he meets a prodigious child actor named Trudi Fraser. Despite being just eight years old, Trudi is more mature, more articulate, more emotionally stable, and more dedicated to her craft than her middle-aged co-star.

6/10 Wayne Gale In Natural Born Killers

Wayne Gale smiles at Mickey in Natural Born Killers

Tarantino didn’t direct Natural Born Killers, but he did write the original script. Despite the fact that Oliver Stone heavily reworked the screenplay to suit his political filmmaking style, the movie still has plenty of evidence of Tarantino’s signature blend of graphic violence and pitch-black humor.

Stone reimagined the movie as a satire of the media and its penchant for glorifying criminals. Robert Downey, Jr. gives a scene-stealing turn as Wayne Gale, a true-crime reporter who exploits and sensationalizes murderers to boost his ratings.

5/10 Beaumont Livingston In Jackie Brown

Samuel L Jackson and Chris Tucker in a trunk shot in Jackie Brown

Chris Tucker only appears in one scene in Jackie Brown, arguably Tarantino’s most underrated movie, but he gives an unforgettable performance. Beaumont Livingston is a courier of gun runner Ordell Robbie who needs to be bailed out after allowing himself to be arrested.

Tucker gives hysterical reactions as Ordell tries to convince him to get in the trunk of his car in an elaborate scheme concocted to allow for a discreet murder.

4/10 Chris Mannix In The Hateful Eight

Walton Goggins wrapped in a blanket in The Hateful Eight

From Sherlock Holmes-esque master of deduction Major Marquis Warren to diabolical mass murderer Daisy Domergue, the eponymous octet in The Hateful Eight is made up of lovable antiheroes. The ensemble cast is full of Tarantino regulars like Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen.

But the funniest performance in the movie is delivered by relative newcomer Walton Goggins in the role of Chris Mannix, who may or may not be the new Sheriff of Red Rock. He’s full of hilarious one-liners like “Well, I’ll be double-dog damned,” and subtle body language gags like frantically throwing away the poisoned coffee.

3/10 Winston Wolf In Pulp Fiction

Winston Wolf drinks a coffee in Pulp Fiction

Winston “The Wolf” Wolf doesn’t appear until the third and final story segment of Pulp Fiction’s nonlinear anthology structure. But, from the moment he shows up, he demands the audience’s attention.

Played by Harvey Keitel in a nod to his role from Point of No Return, the Wolf is a freelance crime scene cleaner recruited by Marsellus Wallace to dispose of Marvin’s corpse before Bonnie gets home. He talks fast, acts fast, and always has a wiseacre remark in the back pocket of his tuxedo.

2/10 Col. Hans Landa In Inglourious Basterds

Col Landa with a phone in Inglourious Basterds

Before he won an Oscar for playing the charismatic mentor in Django Unchained, Christoph Waltz won an Oscar for playing the charismatic villain in Tarantino’s World War II epic Inglourious Basterds. S.S. Col. Hans Landa is both utterly reprehensible and undeniably charming.

Throughout the movie, Waltz walks a fine line between phony friendliness and cold-hearted evil. Brad Pitt gives a hilarious turn as the Basterds’ leader, Lt. Aldo Raine, but Waltz is a truly mesmerizing screen presence.

1/10 Floyd In True Romance

Floyd on the couch in True Romance

Around the same time he sold the script for Natural Born Killers to be directed by Oliver Stone, Tarantino sold the script for True Romance to be directed by Tony Scott. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette anchor the movie as a pair of lovers on the run, Clarence and Alabama, but they’re surrounded by memorable supporting players.

One such supporting player is Dick Ritchie’s roommate Floyd, played by an early-career Brad Pitt. This lovable slacker spends the whole movie stoned and rarely gets off the couch.

NEXT: 10 Ways True Romance Still Holds Up Today