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Though it sports the runtime of an epic, Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight is a very intimate drama. An overwhelming percentage of the movie takes place in one location, with characters verbally and physically sparring with each other in what is essentially a locked-room mystery. Because of this, it's easy to believe that the cast and crew had the chance to get really close during production – but you still might be surprised to learn that the ensemble still regularly keeps in touch years later.
Samuel L. Jackson, who played protagonist Major Marquis Warren in the 2015 film, was honored last week at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, and during a virtual panel discussing his career he revealed that he has a closer relationship with the cast of The Hateful Eight than any other group of actors he's worked with over the years. Talking about the friends he's made along the way, but not mentioning any specific names, Jackson said (via Entertainment Weekly),
The haters from Hateful Eight, we have a chain where we still text each other every week to say where are you, what are you doing, or we’re commenting on the political situation. That’s the strongest cinematic connection I’ve ever had.
In the post-Civil War-set The Hateful Eight, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, and James Parks play a collection of strangers/acquaintances who all find themselves trapped in a haberdashery during a terrible Colorado blizzard, and hunker down together while waiting out the storm. Unfortunately, the circumstances are far from lacking in tension, as there is overwhelming suspicion that one or more of the characters isn't who they say they are and have ill-intent planned once the snow stops.
Aiming for authenticity, Quentin Tarantino actually shot the majority of the film on location in Colorado, and that meant that the cast had a lot of opportunities to spend time together both on and off set. Clearly it made an impact on the actors individually, as five years later they are still checking in on the well-being of their co-stars and ensuring that everybody is safe and happy.
Obviously what makes this story particularly delightful is how it runs in contrast to a lot of other stories you hear about the production process. Because of the collaborative process of filmmaking, casts and crews can get really close, but once the job is done most everyone moves on to the next project/the next chance to make strong working relationships. The bonds created don't always withstand long distance, but The Hateful Eight is apparently an exception.
As fans will be quick to note, one friendship that Samuel L. Jackson went into the production with was his long-standing relationship with Quentin Tarantino, as the movie was their sixth collaboration as actor and director. Their streak working together was broken last year with the arrival of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (Jackson was too busy filming Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home to be involved), but hopefully the two men will work together next on whatever Tarantino has cooking up next – and perhaps the production can bring back some of the other Hateful Eight actors as well. As of right now we have no idea what the writer/director's plans are for his tenth feature, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.