DiCaprio was so immersed in the role, he got a little too carried away, breaking a shot glass with his hand durning a heated dinner scene where Calvin Candie repeated slams his fist on the table over and over again. During one of the takes, the shot glass drifted sneakily directly where DiCaprio was beating down, and without looking, shattered the glass and punctured his hand. Foxx reacted calmly, as he says, “I almost turned into a girl all of a sudden, I was like [mouths Oh My God!]” But did Leonardo break character? “What’s amazing is he was so into his character, even when they finally said cut, he was still [Calvin Candie].”
Moving to the eloquently well spoken Mr. Christoph Waltz, the moderator asked if there was any hesitation to work with Quentin again so soon after Inglourious Basterds. Of course not, as Waltz proclaimed “There was no reunification, there was no working again, that was just another mushroom of the fungus that is growing subcutaneously in me all the time.” Samuel L. Jackson jumped in during the laughter and exclaimed “Process that!” Oh, we tried.
Just listening to Waltz speak was a spectacle in its own, just like his always unique characters. Upon hearing that, Quentin jumped in and commented on why Christoph and Sam have become frequent collaborators, stating “I had this same problem with [Samuel L. Jackson] for about a decade – It’s hard not to write for these guys, they say my dialoge so well.” Then he dropped a little Kill Bill tidbit none of us knew. “Bill! For seven months of the year and a half of writing Kill Bill, Bill sounded just like Sam.” Now try NOT picturing Sammy J as Bill.
Don Johnson got his turn to express how much fun working on set was, recalling Tarantino telling him “You sing in my key,” referencing how exuberant his plantation character Big Daddy is, popping off the screen. Johnson embraced his character’s “fiefdom,” just as his character embraced his own fiefdom, and he looked to Quentin for direction after scenes, saying “[Tarantino] will give a hand signal that looks like a Navy signalman and I’ll know exactly what he means,” as Tarantino has an instant connection with his cast.
Django Unchained fun fact time everybody! Did you know Quentin shot on an actual slave plantation called the Evergreen Plantation in Louisiana? Kerry Washington commented it helped everyone “disappear into the story.” She went on to explain “you felt like you were making the film on sacred ground…you were reenacting this behavior where these crimes against humanity were actually committed.” Strong and powerful words.
Jonah Hill didn’t get to say much, but when asked his reaction to Quentin’s wishes for him to play Baghead #2, he graciously said “I don’t even know what the fuck I’m doing up here with these people, I worked for two days on the film.” Continuing with the laughs, Hill jested “It’s kind of an ego stroke to even want me here.” But in all seriousness, Jonah said there wasn’t an iota of hesitation, he met with Quentin the weekend Moneyball came out, and was overjoyed to even be a part of Tarantino’s universe.
Walton Goggins had a very in depth question to start off, asking if he felt a bit of cultural responsibility in bringing this particular part of history to life being from the South. He turned to what will be known as the infamous “barn scene,” where there’s a very metaphorical visual about slavery itself that Walton had to participate in. As an actor, Goggins stayed as “truthful and honest” to his character and the situation, braving the act with the utmost professionalism.
Opening the floor to press, Quentin was first asked if a Director’s Cut to Django Unchained could be seen in the future. He responded saying “I’m not exactly sure. I’m going to wait till after the film plays around the world, does what it’s going to do, and then I’m going to make a decision.” Simple enough, right? “I always write these huge scripts that are almost like novels, they’re not blueprints for a movie. If I almost had to do this all over again I would have just published this as a novel, then done an adaptation after the fact.”
Well, it sure does sound like a hefty bit of material was left out of the already over two hour run time. “I could very well do what Kevin Costner did with the expanded version on Laser Disk for Dances With Wolves, I could do that, and wouldn’t be surprised if I did.” But don’t get too excited, as Tarantino followed that comment with “It’s too soon right now, I’m all in on this version.” I actually agree with that sentiment, because as it stands, his film is a western epic audiences will love. There’s no reason to tamper with an already celebrated story. Years down the line when everyone knows Django and his quest, then it might be time for some additional information and bridged gaps, but right now, let the man have his glory.
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