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A big part of what makes Quentin Tarantino's movies so special is his unbridled affection towards everything pop culture. Each and every single one of his films is filled with references or homages to the titles that inspired him as a filmmaker, reflecting on his video store education and using his encyclopedia-like mind. Sometimes he's very on the nose about it - like the car from Vanishing Point in Death Proof or the Superman speech in Kill Bill Vol. 2 - while in other instances it's more subtle and obscure. This is a story about one of those that fit in the latter category.
Those of you who were paying attention during the end credits of Django Unchained might have noticed something kind of funny. Amber Tamblyn, the actress best known for her parts on TV shows like House and movies like The Grudge 2, only has one scene in the movie, appearing briefly when Django and Dr. King Schultz are riding into Daughtrey, Texas, but is credited as "Daughter of a Son of a Gunfighter." Given that all she does in the film is look out of a window, it's easy to see why one might be puzzled by this listing. But there's a very good reason for it.
Vulture caught up with Tamblyn recently and when they asked how the credit in Django Unchained came about she revealed that the credit is all about family ties. The actress is actually the daughter of actor Russ Tamblyn, who not only starred in the movie Son of a Gunfighter back in 1965, but is credited as "Son of a Gunfighter" in Tarantino's new movie as well. But perhaps the most surprising thing about the casting is that the reference was actually her idea, not the director's.
"It was first a friend thing. He texted me and said, 'Would you come do a cameo?' And I said yes. And after the fact, I said, 'It would be super cool [to have my father and me play Son of a Gunfighter and Daughter of a Son of a Gunfighter].' And Quentin was like, 'Sold. Done.' So it's sort of like this totally weird thing to happen and a total inside joke. It's such a cool moment for me to see my name in an old Western style next to my dad''s. Even though I didn't really have much of a role, that to me is like a career lifetime moment. Some day, when my dad is gone, I'll look at that and go, 'We were next to each other.'"
Django Unchained may not be a sweet, cuddly movie, but one can't deny that this is a cute little bit of trivia.