Is Quentin Tarantino a Gentleminion?

Cameron Frew
Quentin Tarantino and the cast of Reservoir Dogs in their suits, a key inspiration for the Gentleminions trend
Miramax Films

First things’ f**king last: is Quentin Tarantino, one of cinema’s most iconic living auteurs, a Gentleminion? 

Over the past week, a wave of mischief has flooded cinemas across the world; bananas being pelted off screens, swarms of suits ascending theatre escalators, claps and cheers in unison as parents and small children sit perplexed.

Gru has risen, and so have the Gentleminions. The TikTok trend has seen teenagers – predominantly young men – dressing up in their best wears for a trip to see the latest Minions movie, seemingly causing havoc with their rowdy, hilarious euphoria.

Its contagion is two-faceted: firstly, TikTok dominates culture in ways that aren’t yet fully comprehended or appreciated; and secondly, these kids grew up with the rise of Illumination, just as earlier generations lived with Disney, while others had Dreamworks and Pixar’s heyday.

But this still doesn’t answer the question: is Quentin Tarantino a fellow Gentleminion?

Quentin Tarantino’s son’s first movie was Despicable Me 2

In a recent interview with Empire Magazine alongside friend and collaborator Roger Avary, Tarantino spoke about the first cinematic foray of his two-year-old son Leo. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t a violent dose of Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill – it was Despicable Me 2.

“[My son is] pretty young, so he’s only really seen one movie. I thought I was hitting a Minions cartoon, and I realize it’s Despicable Me Part 2. And he seemed to be interested in the opening credits, so I go, ‘Okay, I guess we’re watching Despicable Me Part 2.’

A still from Despicable Me 2, featuring Gru and his Minions.
Universal Pictures
Despicable Me 2 is Tarantino’s son’s first movie.

“He gets up and he walks behind the couch, but he’s still watching the TV. We watched it for 20 minutes, until it was time for him to go to the park, and then the next day we watched another 15 minutes of it. And so, in the course of a week, in small bites, the first movie Leo ever watched was Despicable Me Part 2.”

Quentin Tarantino may be a Gentleminion himself

While time will tell whether young Leo will become a mighty cineaste and Gentleminion, Tarantino himself isn’t averse to the delights of Gru and his Minions.

He spoke about how his son also favors the viewing pleasure of Peppa Pig, but noted that Despicable Me 2 was “a more consuming experience than, say, Peppa Pig.”

“I actually do like Peppa Pig; I watch it a lot. I’ll say it – Peppa Pig is the greatest British import of this decade,” he added.

Think about it: Tarantino’s movie taste spans further and wider than anyone you know, so it was always likely he’d find something to enjoy from the Despicable Me universe. You can imagine Clarence Worley explaining the values and cultural legacy of Minions to an unwitting woman at a bar.

There’s also the Gentleminions aesthetic, which owes a huge debt to Reservoir Dogs – all that’s missing from most of those TikToks is the George Baker Selection’s Little Green Bag. Never mind six degrees of Tarantino – he’s hardcoded into the Gentleminions trend, whether he likes it or not.

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