Kurt Russell accidentally smashed “priceless” antique guitar in The Hateful Eight instead of the replica

Co-star Jennifer Jason Leigh's horrified reaction in the film is real - but it sounds as if director Quentin Tarantino was not unhappy with the result

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Mild spoiler alert, but there’s a scene in Quentin Tarantino’s new western The Hateful Eight in which Kurt Russell’s character takes issue with Jennifer Jason Leigh’s guitar playing, rips the instrument out of her hands and smashes it to pieces.

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Not the actual genuine antique guitar from the 1870s of course, just a replica. Oh, wait…

Turns out there was a bit of a mix-up and Russell didn’t realise the original “priceless” antique hadn’t yet been swapped for the fake. Yep, he destroyed the real thing.

“The guitar was a loner from the Martin Guitar Museum and there were six doubles made,” explained the movie’s sound mixer Mark Ulano. “The guitar was from the 1870’s and was priceless. What was supposed to happen was we were supposed to go up to that point, cut, and trade guitars and smash the double. Well, somehow that didn’t get communicated to Kurt, so when you see that happen on the frame, Jennifer’s reaction is genuine.”

But while Jason Leigh was suitably mortified, it seems not everyone on set was necessarily quite so disappointed.

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“Kurt shattered the antique guitar and everyone was pretty freaked out,” Ulano told SSN. “Tarantino was in a corner of the room with a funny curl on his lips, because he got something out of it with the performance.”