The Second Coming

EW Well, why should we be any different? Who would you like to work with?

QT Tom Hanks. He's got kind of a snide side in real life that I really like. It's a biting sense of humor that hasn't 100 percent been capitalized on. He's a wonderful comedic actor -- he was even terrific in Turner & Hooch, a little f -- -ing Rin Tin Tin story; his acting elevates it. But I've also wanted to work with Johnny Depp forever, and he's wanted to work with me, but it has to be special. The same thing with Daniel Day-Lewis.

EW Madonna has been a conversation point in a few of your films. Are you interested in working with her?

QT I've always said that Madonna has gotten a bad rap. She was the only actor who knew what she was doing in Dick Tracy. She was my favorite in A League of Their Own. If I had something right for her, I would totally cast her.

EW After seeing Reservoir Dogs, I never would have pegged you for a feminist. But Jackie Brown and Kill Bill are female-empowerment fests. Jackie and the Bride are two of the most multi-dimensional women ever to be seen in genre films.

QT I almost feel weird categorizing it as feminist. It's more of a femininity, an appreciation for women rather than a label. But it's not hard to figure it out. I was raised by a single mom who came from white-trash beginnings. She created a very nice career for herself as an executive -- a legend in her own time in the HMO field. From the very beginning I never considered that there were boundaries, things a woman can and can't do. I had my mom as an example of someone who came from nothing, who paid her own way, had nice s -- -, drove a Cadillac Seville. She was living the life.

EW One recurring theme in your films is loneliness -- not in the American sense, as in a bad thing. It's a loneliness of choice. A spaghetti Western kind of loner. Is that a reflection of you?

QT Good question. I've got lots of friends, and I like hanging out with individuals and cliques of people -- like I was hanging out with Sofia Coppola and her friends recently, while all this Lost in Translation stuff was going on. It was a nice distraction, so I wasn't so self-obsessed about [Kill Bill]. It's always fun to be in love with someone else's movie. But as much as I like that, I'm a loner. If you're an only child, you get comfortable with your own company. I can have a great time reading or watching movies by myself.

EW What kinds of books do you read?

QT All kinds of stuff. I'm attracted to genre-oriented stuff, like crime stories or mysteries. But if somebody turns me on to a writer I like, then it's not about story or genre. Then it's just about the writer's point of view. One of my favorite books of all time is Larry McMurtry's All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers. I use McMurtry as an example of what I'm trying to do in one way or another. I've always liked the way he moves characters from book to book. When I sell my movies, I retain the rights to characters so I can follow them. I can follow Pumpkin and Honey Bunny or anybody and it's not Pulp Fiction II.

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