Exclusive: Sydney Tamiia Poitier on Critics, Grindhouse, and the Final Frontier

See, hot chicks read reviews, too!


We caught up with Grindhouse's Jungle Julia at Comic-Con. You'll never guess which movie site she checks all the time! Find out how Sydney Tamiia Poitier coped with Quentin Tarantino and what J.J. Abrams flick we just might see her in (hint: we hope she lives long and prospers).

Poitier was at Comic-Con to promote the upcoming Grindhouse DVD releases -- Tarantino's Death Proof on September 18, Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror on October 16 -- and told Rotten Tomatoes that she loves movies, reads reviews, and even has a favorite scribe.

"My absolute favorite [critic] is A.O. Scott," she said. (Hear that, Tony?) "But I also like to check what Variety said, Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone. The usual big ones."

It's no secret that the Weinstein Co.'s big Grindhouse gamble didn't pay off. Screening Tarantino and Rodriguez's films together with three fake trailers -- for a sum total of three hours, eleven minutes -- proved to be a doubleheader experience that only die-hard fans would buy tickets to see. But, as Poitier (and anyone who reads RT) knows, the critical response was undeniably positive.

"Critics loved it and I don't know why it didn't work out that way in the public," she mused. "I think Easter weekend wasn't the best idea because in the middle of the country is where it really suffered the most and it wasn't exactly an Easter weekend movie. I think that really hurt it ultimately and I guess people were a little confused about the double feature and how long it was. I'm not really sure what happened but I hope when the DVD comes out people go and see it because they're both two great movies."





Poitier also talked about dealing with Tarantino's notorious penchant for dialogue -- always challenging for actors, especially considering that as Jungle Julia, Austin's hottest DJ in Death Proof, Poitier had some of the film's densest lines.

"You know what, under normal circumstances it would have been difficult but it wasn't because his dialogue is written, in my opinion, so well that it just comes easily," she said. "I can have the same length of a monologue that someone else wrote and it will take me days. I'll constantly be tripping over lines. But with Quentin, I started going over with the other two girls during rehearsal we'd gather in a hotel room and start reading it and within 10 minutes we had it without being on the page. It just flows so easily and it's so natural, that it's just easy."

Since she spent most of her Comic-Con time meeting fans on the exhibition floor, Poitier was a little curious about one ongoing panel in particular.

"Did they announce the cast of Star Trek?" she asked. The Paramount panel was underway at the moment, where J.J. Abrams would announce the casting of both Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy as Spock. "I auditioned for it and I'm curious who got what roles in there."

Sydney, we're rooting for ya!

Look for the two separate 2-disk Grindhouse DVD releases in the coming months; word has it Best Buy will feature a limited run 3-disk version. Check out more of our Comic-Con coverage here, and head here for our survey of Grindhouse cinema!

With additional reporting by Henry Ham

Comments

IMAmoose24

Eric Schulze

Just release the two together like it was made for. I thought they worked perfectly together. And I'm not buying them separately just so they can release a delux extended cut of both films 3 months later. There not getting my money with that BS(no matter how good Grindhouse, or Sin City, or Pulp Fiction, or The Mexico Trillogy was.

Aug 1 - 08:59 PM

arendr

Arend Anton

Since she checks this site all the time may I just say that while I didn't like Death Proof, she almost hypnotized me at times. A mesmerizing beauty.

Aug 1 - 09:50 PM

Product_of_You

Steven Edwards

She is indeed hot. I liked Death Proof and would like to have Grindhouse on DVD but there is no way in hell I will be buying them seperately. I'll be waiting for the combination DVD they are sure to release within a year.

Aug 1 - 11:56 PM

vader_of_vjun

Timothy Maddocks

Ah. Haven't seen Death Proof. For the time being she can take solace in the fact that her father was (and still is) one of the all time greats.

Aug 2 - 12:09 AM

vader_of_vjun

Timothy Maddocks

Ah. Haven't seen Death Proof. For the time being she can take solace in the fact that her father was (and still is) one of the all time greats.

Aug 2 - 12:11 AM

eastern2western

peter liu

i am glad this movie fail because I hate qt and robert rodriguez. Sure, qt made couple good movies 10 years ago and he took ten years off and still believe that he can write dialogue that is relavent to today's world. Some one should smack him on the back of his big head and tell him to wake up because it is no longer the nineties. His movie dialogue represents his exact education back ground because it sounds like it is written by a high school drop out who is trap inside of a 40 year old man.
Rober rodriguez is another hack who is promoted by the stupid weinstein brothers. Most of his movies are visually interesting, but they have absolutely no substance at all.
**** these two stupid idiots and those stupid people who actually spend money to see their movies in the theaters. Personally, I would not even put their movies on my block buster rental list.

Aug 2 - 04:08 AM

ChinaRises

Mikael Carson

EASTER2WESTERN- DON"T CRITICIZE OTHER PEOPLES WRITING WITH SOME REPETIVELY WRITTEN RANT

Yes, Tarintino's dialogue often sounds dumbed down and sophmorish, but that's because he brilliantly molds his writing to fit into the mouths of his characters, which are often losers, thugs, alternative freaks, burnouts, pseudo samuris, and (heaven forbid) just regular, everyday people. If he wrote these people any differently, no one would believe it.

I kind of agree with you on Rodriguez though, his films have very little substance. if you look at Sin City, by far his best work, the only scene that contains some emotion at all was between Clive Owen and Del Toro in his car, and that was directed by Tarantino himself.

Aug 2 - 07:38 AM

Gimy

Gimy Moo

east2west, we're stupid...for wanting to be entertained...hmm...interesting. get off that RIDICULOUSLY high horse you're on and realize its a movie, not a college course. if the movies suck...why did the people WHO watched the two flix love em?? i don't know any of my friends who went...that didn't love it. if you don't like the guys, fine...great...wonderful...but they ENTERTAIN more than 95% of the guys who make movies right now. be honest, YOU DID NOT SEE IT. and i bet you didn't see Kill Bill either. best guess...you've seen maybe 2 of his movies and thought one was overrated...and now hate the guy because the majority loves his movies. thats fine but, you're in the minority here bra. the reason this movie failed? 3.5 hours of movietime. in a day and age of cell phones and ipods...this was set up TO fail. you can't expect the public to sit down for that long REGARDLESS of how entertaining it is. released both on dvd and i guarantee it'll be the top one of that week, EASILY.

we might be stupid for going to see it but at least we know english..."i am glad this movie fail..." i glad you much mostest smarter than we too!

Aug 2 - 05:57 AM

FireflyFan4evr

Steven Johnson

I will only buy Planet Terror on single DVD. I loved that part of Grindhouse regardless, but there is no way I shelling out more money for Death Proof when both of the films should be on the same DVD release. The Weinsteins officially suck.

Aug 2 - 07:22 AM

ChinaRises

Mikael Carson

EASTER2WESTERN- DON"T CRITICIZE OTHER PEOPLES WRITING WITH SOME REPETIVELY WRITTEN RANT

Yes, Tarintino's dialogue often sounds dumbed down and sophmorish, but that's because he brilliantly molds his writing to fit into the mouths of his characters, which are often losers, thugs, alternative freaks, burnouts, pseudo samuris, and (heaven forbid) just regular, everyday people. If he wrote these people any differently, no one would believe it.

I kind of agree with you on Rodriguez though, his films have very little substance. if you look at Sin City, by far his best work, the only scene that contains some emotion at all was between Clive Owen and Del Toro in his car, and that was directed by Tarantino himself.

Aug 2 - 07:38 AM

neoes

ryan persaud

**** the two releases....I'm buying the 3disk special edition when it comes out. These movies need to be seen together...and as much as it will pain me not to buy it, i will have to wait to get them together.
Yeah, and Tarantino writes for the criminals, losers, druggies, samurais, assassins, killers and madmen....and he gives them heart.
But, I love RR as well...yeah, some films aren't as nearly as good as QT's, but Sin City, Planet Terror and El Mariachi are amazing, so I forgive him.

Aug 2 - 09:31 AM

grapeantler

Marcus Michalik

She was easily my favorite thing about Grindhouse. Totally cool all the way through. I have a sticker of her from the movie on the back of my iPod.

Aug 2 - 10:10 AM

H Tht Hs N Vwls

Robin Smith

I too feel sort of jilted that Grindhouse is being split up. So will that mean the trailers will be on both versions or split up as well? A collectors edition needs to be released soon.

Aug 2 - 10:19 AM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Wright seemed to think that the trailers won't show up until they release a super version of the DVD, so they likely won't appear on the initial separate Planet Terror/Death Proof DVDs, but maybe on the 3 disk version with yet-to-be-named special features...

Aug 3 - 12:32 PM

Huntressmoon13

M. K.

Hey ChinaRises:

I thought Tarantino directed "That Yellow Bastard" within Sin City, which would have been the scenes involving Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba. If I'm right, then Rodriguez has got something you enjoyed.

Anyway, I agree with just about everyone- waiting for both to be released together, or the 3-disk Special Edition. Although in discussing with my husband we were wondering if it would have been better to show Death Proof before Planet Terror. Thoughts anyone?

Aug 2 - 10:28 AM

bribios

brian wilson

Yep I could agree with that. Death Proof was for the most part slower paced, and I think it made a lot of people impatient. I personally find QT's dialog to be some of the only dialog I can listen to for an extended period of time and not get bored. Like Poitier said, Quentins stuff has this natural flow to it. Even when it's corny and pretentious (Kill Bill), it fits the characters perfectly, and is corny in the best way possible.

I really don't understand either why this movie didn't do better. Granted, it doesn't really play to female audiences for the most part, and it came out on a weekend people would prefer something a bit lighter, but still. I guess I figured movie audiences would like something kind of novel.

And yeah, I'll wait for the three pack.

Aug 2 - 11:12 AM

ChinaRises

Mikael Carson

Huntressmoon13:

it was definitly the scene with Del Toro and Owen in their car that Tarantino directed. The lighting, use of revoliving colors, camera angles, as well as character intereaction all have Tarantino's trademark.

That scene really stood out for me for some reason the first time I saw the film. When I found out it was Tarantino's, I knew why.

Aug 3 - 07:02 AM

bribios

brian wilson

Yep I could agree with that. Death Proof was for the most part slower paced, and I think it made a lot of people impatient. I personally find QT's dialog to be some of the only dialog I can listen to for an extended period of time and not get bored. Like Poitier said, Quentins stuff has this natural flow to it. Even when it's corny and pretentious (Kill Bill), it fits the characters perfectly, and is corny in the best way possible.

I really don't understand either why this movie didn't do better. Granted, it doesn't really play to female audiences for the most part, and it came out on a weekend people would prefer something a bit lighter, but still. I guess I figured movie audiences would like something kind of novel.

And yeah, I'll wait for the three pack.

Aug 2 - 11:12 AM

jmo2ski

Jimmy Moorer

I think they need to put this chick in a Star Trek movie.

one- she is hot
two- has beautiful long hair
three- she has a nice long and gorgeous set of legs.

I think i've made a point and she is a great actress.

Aug 2 - 04:56 PM

smartmoviekid

jonathan ramirez

i agree she is a beautiful actress and she really fits into her performance in "Grindhouse" so she has potential to be strong in the new Star Trek also. by the way i was so pissed about seperating the two flicks first b4 releasing them on dvd together. it should be vise versa.

Aug 2 - 05:01 PM

ChinaRises

Mikael Carson

Huntressmoon13:

it was definitly the scene with Del Toro and Owen in their car that Tarantino directed. The lighting, use of revoliving colors, camera angles, as well as character intereaction all have Tarantino's trademark.

That scene really stood out for me for some reason the first time I saw the film. When I found out it was Tarantino's, I knew why.

Aug 3 - 07:02 AM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Wright seemed to think that the trailers won't show up until they release a super version of the DVD, so they likely won't appear on the initial separate Planet Terror/Death Proof DVDs, but maybe on the 3 disk version with yet-to-be-named special features...

Aug 3 - 12:32 PM

kfarschman

Kurt Farschman

"i am glad this movie fail" "qt made couple good movies" "high school drop out who is trap inside of a 40 year old man."

I think you mean "movie failED", "qt HAS made A couple good movies", " and "who is trapPED inside of a 40..."

easter2western. It's funny that someone that talks like Tarzan is making fun of someone else's intelligence. Also there are other adjectives than the word "stupid". Maybe you should get your g.e.d.

Aug 3 - 01:27 PM

Timber

Timber Monkey

If it's OK, I just watched "Grindhouse" for the first time (on pay-per-view here in my hotel), and want to say a few words.

I was reluctant because the whole thing with Rose McGowan's "gun for a leg" seemed really stupid, but seen in the context of the rest of the hilarious insanity of "Planet Terror," it didn't seem that strange. PT was hi-larious! The effects were great and cheesy at the same time, there was some brilliant dark humor, and I got a kick out of seeing the great Tom Savini in a gore flick. But come on, how can you not howl about beautiful twin babysitters blasting mutant zombies with shotguns?

"Death Proof" was great, too. I'd go as far as saying it was a good little film, not just good entertainment like PT. I loved Kurt Russell as a bad guy, loved seeing him getting his *** kicked by a bunch of pissed-off women even better.

Sydney doesn't need another dude telling her how beautiful she is, so I'll just say that she turned in a very real, very natural, and very strong acting performance in an ensemble that was strong all-around.

The trailers were a scream, too, and I'm old enough to have actual vague memories of those old intros, so I got a kick out of the retro style and thought the whole thing was big fun.

Looking forward to the DVDs, and I think they can pull it off with two if they put the middle trailers at the beginning of the second DVD. Would love to see more trailers, maybe even some more fake ads.

Aug 9 - 05:12 PM

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