Quentin Tarantino, who directed Robert Forster in the actor’s gorgeous comeback film, Jackie Brown, said in a statement Saturday that casting Forster was “one of the best choices I’ve ever made in life.”
Forster was struggling in his career when Tarantino told him that he had written the part of benevolent bail bondsman Max Cherry specifically for him.
“I’m sure they’re not going to let you hire me,” Forster recalled telling Tarantino in an interview last year with Fandor.
He said Tarantino responded: “I hire anybody I want.”
Tarantino had no regrets. Forster received an Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance in the Elmore Leonard adaptation.
“Today the world is left with one less gentlemen. One less square shooter. One less good man. One less wonderful father. One less marvelous actor,” Tarantino said in his statement Saturday, the day after Forster’s passing.
“I remember all the breakfasts we had at silver spoons. All the stories. All the kind words. All the support. Casting Robert Forster in Jackie Brown was one of the best choices I’ve ever made in my life. I will miss you dearly my old friend.”
“Bye bye Max. Bye bye Miles. Bye bye Bob,” Tarantino concluded.
Miles was the name of Forster’s character in the TV series “Banyan,” Miles C. Banyan. The show ran from 1971-73, and was one of many memorable roles in a career that spanned decades. It began to flag in the 1980s, but Tarantino helped revive it.
Forster died on the same day Netflix premiered El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, in which he reprised his Breaking Bad role as Ed, a vacuum cleaner salesman who makes dust mites and human disappear with equal acuity.
Tarantino joined a long list of Forster’s colleagues who praised him as an actor and a human being.
“I’m saddened today by the news that Robert Forster has passed away,” Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston tweeted. “A lovely man and a consummate actor. I met him on the movie Alligator… 40 years ago, and then again on BB. I never forgot how kind and generous he was to a young kid just starting out in Hollywood. RIP Bob.”
Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul also tweeted: “I am heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of Robert Forster. My god. I had the privilege of knowing this beautiful man and working along side of him. A true gentleman that loved to act. I love you my friend. Thank you for loving me. You are and always will be a legend.” MM