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Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson & the Coen Brothers | The Venn Diagram

Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson & the Coen Brothers | The Venn Diagram

I admit, for someone who works in Hollywood, I have one specific weakness – I’m terrible at remembering the name of that guy from that thing. The TV & movie industry has hundreds of talented actors who I’ve seen in roles without really remembering their names. The 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon game has always been a challenge for me, and I even get A-listers confused from time to time. Nowhere is my confusion greater than in mixing up the actors who appear in the films of Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, & the Coen brothers (Joel & Ethan). It’s time to fix that.

For one, my confusion between these three stems from the fact there are some stylistic similarities between them. Tarantino, Anderson, and Coen movies all have a sort of whimsical absurdity to them while paying homage to an old-fashioned aesthetic. The Los Angeles of Pulp Fiction looks like a darker version of the Los Angeles in The Big Lebowski. The Western feel of Django has something in common with No Country For Old Men. And if Tarantino or the Coens wanted to make a movie in Eastern Europe, they could re-use much of the Grand Budapest set without anyone batting an eye.

Not only do I get the styles confused, but all three of these film-making power-houses are known for re-using actors in several of their movies. Samuel L Jackson has been in many of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, for example. And Frances McDormand appears in several Coen brothers projects – perhaps because she’s married to Joel Coen. But it gets even harder for me to remember who’s in what film when some of these actors have crossed over and worked with more than one of the above-named directors.

Here’s a handy Venn Diagram to keep straight who has worked with Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, the Coen brothers, or some combination thereof.

actors revised

Confession: I made this graph for my own reference. I figured it’d be useful to keep myself straight on who has worked with whom – no, Steve Buscemi hasn’t worked with Wes Anderson, but he has done Coen & Tarantino movies, for example. But I noticed something while researching this.

No one has worked with all three.

Out of this immensely talented stable of actors, there’s not one person who has been in a Tarantino movie, a Coen brothers movie, and a Wes Anderson movie. It’s like the cult-classic version of an EGOT pursuit. Don’t ask me why I feel this is a wrong that needs to be righted. But given how much I respect these filmmakers and how frequently they share collaborators, it feels sort of incomplete that no one has starred in a movie directed by all three. So I’m going to fix that. Let’s look at the 9 actors who have worked with 2 of these 3 directors, and figure out how to get them to complete the C-A-T trifecta.

Need a Coen Brothers movie:

Bruce Willis
Harvey Keitel

Need a Wes Anderson movie:

Jonah Hill
Brad Pitt
Channing Tatum
Steve Buscemi

Need a Quentin Tarantino movie:

Ralph Fiennes
George Clooney
Tilda Swinton
Frances McDormand

Surely there have to be potential scripts that could fit the style of these directors while creating roles for actors they’ve never worked with. Let’s get on it, Hollywood!

Disclaimer: Sure, you could argue there are “collaborations” I’ve missed. Clooney and Tarantino appear together in “From Dusk Till Dawn.” But that was a Robert Rodriguez movie. So was the part of “Grindhouse” that Josh Brolin was in, so I’m not counting that either. Sorry!

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  1. Kevin

    Disproved on reddit, the answer is Brad Pitt. He was in a Wes Anderson commercial for softbank

  2. Desi

    Tarantino did more than just appear with Clooney in “From Dusk Til Dawn”, he also wrote the screenplay for the film. Maybe need to re-title or re-clarify your article, as it isn’t “worked with” but “directed by”.

    • Drew

      The title of the article is “Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson & the Coen Brothers | The Venn Diagram”, so there would be no reason to retitle the article as you suggest. It is also referenced throughout the article that the author is talking about directors, and with Robert Rodriguez being the official director of From Dusk Til Dawn, there is little room to argue.

      • Desi

        Just above the ven diagram, the paragraph reads, “Here’s a handy Venn Diagram to keep straight who has worked with Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, the Coen brothers, or some combination thereof.”

        That’s what I was suggesting to change to “directed by”.

  3. Scott Falkner

    to “Need a Quentin Tarantino movie” could you are the late and great Phillip Seymour Hoffman? Sure he can never finish the trifecta, but he serves a place on the list all the same.

  4. Scott Falkner

    Oh, shoot. Forget it. My brain is broken today.

  5. Ed

    You forgot about Jennifer Jason Leigh (Coen: The Hudsucker Proxy, Tarantino: The Hateful Eight)!

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