That Time Quentin Tarantino Snuck Chris Pine’s Grandmother Into Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in Star Trek
(Image credit: (Paramount))

Ever since we heard that Quentin Tarantino was interested in directing a Star Trek movie, we’ve been daydreaming about the implications of “Pulp Fiction in space.” While the future of Star Trek on the big screen has been without oxygen for some time, as Paramount has been reshuffling its higher-ups, if Captain Kirk ever had the chance to work with the legendary director, he already has the connections. And it’s all thanks to Chris Pine's grandmother. Yes, really.

Chris Pine comes from a long line of Hollywood royalty, starting with House of Frankenstein actress Anne Gwynne, who primarily performed in the ‘30s and ‘40s. During an Oscars party once, Quentin Tarantino and Pine’s mom had a major bonding session that may have led to a cool Once Upon a Time in Hollywood nod. As Pine tells it:

[Quentin] knows everything about my grandmother. He knows film names, co-stars, directors, production designers, just unbelievable. So [he and my mother] ended up talking for about 40 minutes and I went off and got another martini.

Chris Pine said he often takes his mom to the Academy Awards; she is the wife of CHiPs star Robert Pine and daughter of Anne Gwynne. When the old Hollywood superfan (Quentin Tarantino) got talking to her, they really hit it off, leading Pine to leave them alone and get another drink. Then he said this happened, per his appearance on the Things Are Going Great For Me With J. Claude Deering podcast:

Low and behold, Once Upon A Time comes out and i see it, I love it. I call my folks and ask them if they'd seen it. They saw it, loved it, and my mom says, 'You know, that scene at the ranch [with Bruce Dern] and there's a TV on?' I said, 'Yeah, I vaguely kind of remember this.' But she said, 'On the television is one of my mother’s films.' So, I have yet to get in touch with him, and my mother actually wrote me up an email that I was going to forward to him. Obviously, it’s so sweet of him and I’m assuming that was done on purpose as kind of a nod… My mother was ecstatic, just over the moon.

Whoa! Chris Pine’s grandmother is technically in a Quentin Tarantino movie, and the filmmaker is certainly intentional with what he decided to place in his love letter to Hollywood, down to what is playing in the background of scenes. It’s a sweet connection between the Reservoir Dogs director and Pine as the hunger for more of his Star Trek role grows. Pine called Tarantino a “very cool dude” on the podcast too and said he'd love to work with him in the future.

Quentin Tarantino has also declared his adoration for Chris Pine. Early this year, he called the Wonder Woman 1984 actor his “favorite” actor of this generation “hands down.” In the past, the director has been attached to a Star Trek script written by The Revenant screenwriter Mark L. Smith, which is reportedly an adaptation of an episode from the original series called “The City on the Edge of Forever,” which is about the crew traveling back to Depression-era New York City to prevent events that Dr. McCoy accidentally inflicts on the time period.

Also in the Star Trek mix was a movie written by Fargo and Legion’s Noah Hawley, but Simon Pegg shared his doubt about the film coming to fruition. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more updates on Star Trek, and check out Chris Pine in Wonder Woman 1984 starting October 2.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.