September 24th marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Nirvana's Nevermind, the greatest album ever recorded and no, we don't mean that hyperbolically. To celebrate, GQ is presenting an oral history of the album featuring quotes from Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, producer Butch Vig, and other Nirvana insiders. Unfortunately, the oral history also contains quotes from Courtney Love, which is why everyone's not talking about Nevermind and instead focusing on less important things: According to Love, Kurt Cobain was supposed to play Lance, the drug dealer character portrayed by Eric Stoltz in Pulp Fiction.
Love made similar statements back in 2006 -- then, she claimed she was supposed to play the drug dealer's girlfriend as well, a role that went to Rosanna Arquette -- at a time when Love was spewing so much nonsense that it was impossible to decipher truth from fiction. "You ever wonder why he thanked Quentin [Tarantino] on the back of In Utero? Quentin asked him to play Eric Stoltz's part in Pulp Fiction. You can ask Quentin that, because it's true," Love told GQ. Fact: Nirvana did thank "Tarantino, Quentin" in the In Utero liner notes, a full six months before Pulp Fiction premiered at Cannes.
To Love's credit, this is probably true, since the past decade and a half have proven that Tarantino isn't shy about making surprising casting decisions (re: Inglourious Basterds as a whole). Plus, the Stoltz character does look a lot like Cobain on MTV Unplugged, but considering that the special was filmed in November 1993 and aired December 1993, this is probably just coincidence. Long story short, Cobain might have been offered a Pulp role, but in the end he wisely turned it down, probably because playing a heroin dealer hit too close to home. Given the still-depressing nature of his death, seeing Cobain giving Vincent Vega an adrenaline shot to thrust into Mia Wallace's sternum would be a major buzzkill in the middle of one of our favorite films.
So, can we go back to talking about Nevermind now?
Another fun fact about Nirvana and Hollywood: In the original script for the underrated masterpiece PCU, it was Nirvana that was supposed to play the Everyone Gets Laid party at The Pit. The band was far, far out of the low-budget film's price range, so George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic ended up in the film instead.
- Eric Stoltz
- Kurt Cobain
- Pulp Fiction