Q&A with Cast Of Django Unchained
Sanders | On 18, Dec 2012
An untold love story brought to life by writer and director Quentin Tarantino, shines light on two “married” slaves who were separated by different plantations, Django (Jamie Foxx) and Broomhilda Von Shaft (Kerry Washington) and the journey he took to find her. Django Unchained will have you laughing through the movie but also show you things that makes you ask yourself “Did that really just happen?”.
Dos Lives had the opportunity to sit down with the cast. Here are some of the questions and answers:
When you read the script, what was the first impression on being asked to play in this movie?
Jamie Foxx: “I don’t care what it is, it’s Quentin Tarantino. All these people on this stage and I think they can tackle any subject matter. I’m from the south….When I read the script I didn’t knee jerk to the word nigger, like someone from maybe New York or L.A. would knee jerk because it’s something that I experienced, but what I did gravitate to was the love story and the first of everything in this film. When you see movies about slavery you never see slaves fight back and do for himself and in this movie there is a lot of firsts, so for me it’s about the work and coming into it there was going be a lot of things said, but its been a fantastic ride to us.”
Kerry Washington: ” I think a lot of times people in the past might be nervous about playing a slave because so many stories told on film and TV would be about powerlessness, but this isn’t about that. It’s about a black man who finds his freedom and rescues his wife and so there’s nothing shameful about that. I was very moved on the love story, to have a story about a husband and a wife in a time where two black people were not allowed to fall in love and get married was not only educational, but hopeful. I told Quentin in our first meeting that I wanted to do this movie for my father because my father grew up in a world were there was no black superheros and that’s what this movie is.
Christoph Waltz, can you talk about the physical training for the role because I know you injured yourself pretty severely at one point?
Waltz: I worked very hard and succeeded gloriously in falling off a horse, and then my work was a little slower for a few months and then I got back up on the horse.
How do you come up with this script?
Quentin: I always write these huge scripts that are like novels. If I had to do this all over again I would have just published it as a novel and then done an adaptation of the script.
What did you learn about playing Calvin Candy (Leonardo DiCaprio), and is being an actor all that you wanted to be?
Leonardo DiCaprio : Yes I love acting, it’s all I wanted to do my entire life. What was great about doing this role was the sense of community. This is my first attempt in playing a character I had this much hatred for. It was an uncomfortable environmental to walk into. I witnessed racism growing up, but the degree I had to treat other people was incredibly disturbing, I think it was disturbing for actors on both ends of the spectrum. I brought up the point of do we have to go this far this time. Jamie told me ‘if you sugar coat this people are gonna resent the hell out of you. I think that holding the character back you not telling the truth’.
Kerry Washington: I felt like we relied on each other because we would be on these awful places and then Quentin would call cut and everyone would be like ‘are you OK, is everyone OK, lets film that again’.
Were there any moments that got you really uncomfortable and had to change things on set?
Kerry Washington: We worked on a real slave plantation called Evergreen Plantation in Louisiana and so that lent itself to disappear in the the story because you felt like you were working on sacred ground. It started to integrate into everybody’s acting and behavior.
Samuel L Jackson: When you (Kerry) had the scene where you were getting whipped, all the bugs stopped making noise, the birds stop singing, it was kinda like ‘oh shit is it back?’.
Christoph Waltz: My dresser found out that her aunt’s sisters were buried in the cemetery on the plantation.
Quentin Tarantino: There was nothing that I wrote I had to change on set, we all knew what we were doing. We all talked it way before offset, there was only one thing I felt uncomfortable about in the early beginning stages after finishing the script. It’s one thing to write ‘exterior Greenville with black slaves in chains and masks and metal collars,’ it’s another thing to get 100 black folks to put them on chains and walk them through the mud and I started to question could I do it, I never thought about that on my work before. I came up with the idea to shoot those scenes alone in the West Indies, but then I went though with shooting it in Louisiana.
Jamie, what was it like riding on a horse, let alone bareback?
Jamie Foxx: I have a horse so it wasn’t that hard for me. We used my horse that I got a few years back, but that scene on the back of the horse bareback, the horse was going 28 mph, now on the outside I looked like Django but on the inside I was little Richard, and I was thinking we got it, but as directors go Quentin pulls up and says that was great man but I need to get it one more time. This time the horse sees that he’s behind so out of the turn this time I’m on the side of the horse, the stunt guy told me if you feel like your about to come off the horse just let go of the son of a bitch just get off him and in my mind those words were ringing in my head while the horse is going 28 mph. I’m thinking he’s a damn fools if he think I’m gonna let go. The horse slowed down enough for me to get back on, but that was the craziest.
Do you have plans to screen this for the President?
Quentin: I don’t know about that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Barack and Michelle watch the movie.
For people who are going love the movie there will be a comic book coming out next year, Quentin pointed out that ‘the entire script is in the comic book, so some of the scene in the comic book aren’t in the movie”
The movie comes out Christmas day.
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