The Delightful Batshit Insanity of Lawrence Tierney

In this week’s Shouts From the Back Row podcast on Quentin Tarantino, we discussed Tarantino’s gift for resurrecting the careers of actors he loves, whether it be John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, Robert Forster in Jackie Brown or David Carradine in Kill Bill. The first time he tried this was when he cast Lawrence Tierney in the role of Joe Cabot in Reservoir Dogs. Tierney had delivered some memorable portrayals of gangsters and tough guys in B-movies during the 1940s and was a cult favourite of Quentin Tarantino’s, so the director gave him what was probably his best role in over 40 years. However, Tarantino soon discovered that there was a REASON why Tierney’s career had floundered since then: he was an insane nutjob! If you thought Joe Cabot seemed like a grumpy and surly old man, just multiply that by a hundred and you’ve got Lawrence Tierney. In this hilarious featurette, the cast and crew of Reservoir Dogs share some pretty wacky stories about what a nightmare Mr. Tierney was to work with. Chris Penn’s story about the lawn furniture is particularly priceless! Virtually everyone who’s ever crossed paths with Lawrence Tierney has an hilarious anecdote to tell. The following featurette chronicles Tierney’s guest appearance on an episode of Seinfeld as Elaine’s surly father, Alton Benes. I’m sure you know that after George and Jerry’s parents were introduced onto the show, they became full-time characters, but did you ever wonder why Elaine’s dad never returned? Because that would have meant having to work with Lawrence Tierney again!

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