Quentin Tarantino, appearing on television show Silfur Egils earlier this month, was asked what he intended to tell America about Iceland once he returned home. “Loose women and heavy drinking?” host Egill Helgason offered, as if it were a foregone conclusion that that’s exactly what Tarantino would talk about. Tarantino dismissed the idea of talking about Iceland’s women, and then held forth at length about the spirit Opal.
Upon arriving home, Tarantino appeared on the talk show Late Night with Conan O’Brien and shared some of his impressions of Iceland, and its people. Especially the ladies:
Conan: How are you, man?
Quentin: I’m good.
Conan: You know, for a lot of us there’s this pressure to do something cool or outlandish on New Year’s Eve, but I think, you know, you’re Quentin Tarantino. There might be this heightened expectation that you did something crazy. Like you went somewhere with a loaded gun.
Quentin: Yeah, I actually did. I just got back yesterday from Iceland. I went to Iceland to celebrate New Year’s. I was there about two months ago and it was so crazy, the parties there were so insane, it was like, “Oh, you gotta come back on New Year’s, it is so much better,” so I went back-
Conan: You actually decided, “OK, I’m spending my New Year’s in Iceland, just because everyone said it’s so nutty.”
Quentin: Exactly. And man, oh man, oh man, I almost can’t imagine New Year’s anywhere else after that. Because like one: Icelanders, they go and they drink like crazy any old way, but on New Year’s, they lose their minds, in particularly the women lose their minds and like drink like crazy and I remember we were in this club with all these drunken girls, and this one girl was like you know, [Morticia Addams accent] “Oh man, I’m so embarrassed about Icelandic women, they always go out, and they always drink way too much, and make complete fools out of themselves.” Well right at the moment after she said that, a drunken girl walks by and does a face plant – BAM! – right in front of us.
Conan: So women are falling, and the women –
Quentin: No, but see here’s the thing, though. That’s the female perspective, alright? The non-Icelandic male perspective is, I’m in a room full of supermodels who are drunk out of their mind standing up on a table [stands up and begins to pump fist], “Let’s get the party started! Let’s get the party started!” (Laughter, applause) You know, where have I been all my life? This is the place to be!
Conan: But the women there, I’m told that the women there –
Quentin: Supermodels working in McDonalds! That’s what you got going on there, and they’re drunk, and not only that, you know, in America –
Conan: I’m surprised they don’t get you to do their tourist board commercial. “There’s supermodels everywhere and they’re at McDonalds and they’re all drunk!” [Boris Badinov accent] “Come to Iceland.”
Quentin: Come to Iceland! Brought to you by the Icelandic Tourist Board. But you know it’s funny because normally in America, the idea is to get the girls drunk enough to go home with you? In Iceland, you get the girls home before they get so drunk that they’re passing out in your bathroom, or vomiting all over you. That’s the trick.
Conan: Right. Well, this is great for the whole family. (Laughter) But what are they drinking there? You say they’re getting really drunk, are they drinking wine, are they drinking beer?
Quentin: No. Actually, they have the foulest stuff ever made, it’s this liqueur called Opal. Alright, and the way Jägermeister is green, it’s red. And then the “F you up” variety, it’s about above Jägermeister. Now, I don’t really know what poison tastes like because if I did I’d be dead. But if I had to imagine what poison tastes like, it would be this stuff Opal.
Conan: So Opal doesn’t taste good but all that recommends it is it gets you there fast.
Quentin: But here’s the weird thing. It’s based on these candies that the Icelanders have eaten since they were little kids, so they’re used to the taste, so they love it. Well, I was in this club and Björk was there, and she grabs me-
Conan: I like any story that’s like, “I’m in a club, Björk’s there . . .” (Laughter)
Quentin: It is Iceland, by the way-
Conan: She’s the biggest thing in Iceland, is that right?
Quentin: She’s the biggest thing in Iceland. She’s like the Jackie Chan of Iceland.
Conan: I’ve heard she’s an action star over there.
Quentin: She grabs me up to a bar and she sets up like three shots. (Imitates taking shots.) Boom, boom, boom! My gag reflex was doing a decathlon at that point. This stuff is so foul, that I said what I never thought I would say in my life, when it came down to the fourth shot I go, “Can I switch to Jägermeister just for the taste?” Whoever thought that Jägermeister would be refreshing by comparison?
Conan: (Lame, extended joke about Jägermeister’s status as a sponsor.) So are you going to go back?
Quentin: Oh yeah, I, I, I, I think maybe I have to now.
Conan: Are you treated well there? They must love your work there.
Quentin: No, no, they’re really great, they’re terrific there. Yeah, uh, they’re big fans of my stuff, so, also, what’s also wild is, you go there, you know, I go there, you know, and there’s officials from the government that want to have like a little dinner, a state thing or something, so you go and you have this really embassy kind of dinner, the minister of culture’s there, and you meet the president and everything, but then, it’s Iceland, so after the dinner’s over you all go to a club and you’re all doing shots with these same people!
Conan: And the prime minister’s on a table (Begins dancing.) “Let’s get the party started!”
Quentin: (Also begins dancing.) The roof! The roof! The roof is on fi-ya!
When the Grapevine contacted Egill Helgason to get his thoughts on Tarantino’s performance on Conan O’Brien, he told us, “I don’t really think that Tarantino has done anything of real value since Pulp Fiction, and now he covers his inadequacies by playing the clown.”
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