No One Told Kurt Russell Not to Smash Priceless Antique Guitar

And a museum isn't happy about it
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2016 2:50 PM CST
Kurt Russell smashed a priceless antique guitar while filming "The Hateful Eight" because no one told him not to smash it.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

(Newser) – Kurt Russell defeated the Thing, shook the pillars of Heaven and Earth, and escaped from New York. A 140-year-old antique guitar never stood a chance. SSN reports the actor accidentally smashed a priceless 1870s guitar on loan from the Martin Guitar Museum while filming a scene for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. The script called for Russell to break the guitar, but the crew was going to cut and swap it out for one of six doubles before he actually destroyed it. "Well, somehow that didn’t get communicated to Kurt, so when you see that happen on the frame, Jennifer [Jason Leigh]’s reaction is genuine," the film's sound mixer, Mark Ulano, tells SSN. "Everyone was pretty freaked out."

Ulano claims the museum was surprisingly cool with it, offering another guitar and asking to put the broken pieces on display. But museum director Dick Boak—who wasn't exactly clear on what the crew meant by "accident on set"—denies that. “We assumed that a scaffolding or something fell on it," he tells Reverb. "We didn’t know anything about the script or Kurt Russell not being told that it was a priceless, irreplaceable artifact." He says the museum only wanted the pieces back in a futile attempt to repair the guitar and states it won't be loaning instruments to movie shoots "under any circumstances" in the future. Alex McCown at the AV Club argues the museum should have seen it coming: "Kurt Russell does not [expletive] around … So if you don’t want Kurt Russell to destroy your valuable artifact, you should probably make that crystal clear prior to him picking it up." (Read more Kurt Russell stories.)

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