Tarantino unchains America's tormented past in 'Django'
Updated: 2012-12-25 10:58
"Stephen might be frankly the most fascinating character in the whole piece, and it was important to deal with that whole upstairs-downstairs aspect of the Antebellum South," he said.
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The role that has people talking is Leonardo DiCaprio's first villainous turn as a racist plantation owner - a stark contrast from his Hollywood heartthrob "Titanic" days and roles as eccentric Americans in "The Aviator" and "J. Edgar".
Asked how he felt to be the first director to make DiCaprio a villain, Tarantino laughed, saying he felt "pretty darn good about it." He commended DiCaprio for turning into a "Southern-fried Caligula," referring to the tyrannical ancient Roman emperor.
"I saw him as a petulant boy emperor. ... He has nothing but hedonistic hobbies and vices to indulge him, and it's almost as if he's rotting from the inside," Tarantino said.
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The film's female lead, Django's wife Broomhilda played by Kerry Washington, moves away from Tarantino's fierce screen women such as Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill" and Diane Kruger in "Inglourious Basterds".
Tarantino said Broomhilda was meant to be the "princess in exile". He said he was "annoyed" when he was asked by a friend why Broomhilda did not exact revenge on her abusers in the same way as Thurman's "Kill Bill" character. The film, he said, is "Django's story".
"It invokes ... that odyssey that Django goes on and gives the black slave narrative the romantic dimensions of great opera or great folklore tales," Tarantino said.