Quentin Tarantino for ‘Django Unchained’

Eye on the Oscars: The Director

Tarantino has played with fire before, but on “Django Unchained,” the writer-director says, “I had the most trepidation about staging all the scenes that dealt with large casts of extras as slaves being moved from one place to another. It was just so ugly and painful, (asking them) to subject themselves to that.”

Tarantino sought out the counsel of Sidney Poitier, whom he invited to dinner to discuss the issue.

Popular on Variety

“He goes, ‘That’s just the way it is. They get that. They’ll understand that, or they wouldn’t take the job. It sounds like you’re scared of your own movie, and you have to get over that,’?” recalls Tarantino. “And he was right — I had to get over that.”

Tarantino says before one big sequence, he thanked the assembled actors that “this is really ugly and fucked up, but we’re doing this for a purpose and we wanted to let people know what it was like.” And as Poitier predicted, they were on board.

Though they knew exactly what they were getting into, “Django” stars Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington found it difficult to reenact the historic humiliation.

“The scene where Kerry gets whipped (was filmed) in the part of a plantation that was the slave quarters,” Tarantino says. “We know that real slaves had been whipped there. There was blood on the ground, blood in the trees. We felt their spirits watching over the movie.”

More Scene

  • Jeremy Renner

    John Ottman Hosts Jeremy Renner, Michael Keaton, More at 'Aiding Australia' Benefit

    Film editor and composer John Ottman, who won an Oscar for “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 2019, hosted members of the film, television and music communities at the “Aiding Australia” charity dinner and concert held at his West Hollywood home on Sunday evening (Feb. 23). The benefit raised funds to help in the recovery of fire-ravaged Australia, [...]

  • Bavaria Fiction Berlinale 2020

    Bavaria Fiction Toasts 'Das Boot,' 'Freud,' 'Arctic Circle' at Berlinale Soirée

    Pictured above: The ‘Das Boot’ crew – Colin Teevan (head writer of season 2), Tom Wlaschiha (actor), Clemens Schick (actor), Oliver Vogel (Bavaria Fiction chief creative officer and EP on ‘Das Boot’), Vicky Krieps (actor), Rick Okon (actor). Bavaria Fiction celebrated its latest TV productions at a glitzy soirée at Soho House in Berlin on [...]

  • Jamie Foxx - Excellence in the

    Jamie Foxx Honored by Leonardo DiCaprio at American Black Film Festival Honors

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Morgan Freeman made surprise appearances at the American Black Film Festival Honors ceremony on Sunday night. The “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” actor presented Jamie Foxx with the excellence in the arts award while Freeman announced the movie of the year, which went to “Just Mercy.” Hosted by comedian Deon Cole, [...]

  • Eddie Murphy Bria Murphy Artus Gallery

    Eddie Murphy Supports Daughter Bria Murphy at Art Gallery Opening

    Eddie Murphy joined his eldest daughter Bria Murphy as she launched her Art 4 All exhibition with a special event in Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday night. “I always tease him like ‘I just put my dad’s name on my invitation so people will come,’” Bria Murphy joked to Variety. “Anytime I’ve thrown an art [...]

  • Logan Lerman Jordan Peele Al Pacino

    Al Pacino and Carol Kane Had a ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ Reunion on the ‘Hunters’ Set

    Nearly 45 years after Al Pacino and Carol Kane appeared in Sidney Lumet’s classic film “Dog Day Afternoon,” an Amazon Prime Video series about Nazi-hunters in 1977 New York City has brought them back together. Go figure. “I’m proud to be working with him again,” Kane told Variety at the “Hunters” premiere on Wednesday night [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content