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Samuel L. Jackson Discusses Working With Quentin Tarantino On “Django Unchained”

Samuel L. Jackson discusses his controversial role in the movie titled "DJango Unchained."

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There has been a lot of talk about Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. World-renowed film director Spike Lee made headlines when he said he refuses to watch the film because ‘it’s disrespectful to my ancestors.’ Many African Americans agreed with Spike Lee and have decided to boycott the film as well. Criticism and boycotts didn’t stop Django Unleashed from exceptional success that is expected to outshine the current most successful Tarantino film.

Jackson sat down with Deadline.com to discuss bonding with Quentin Tarantino, prestigious film awards (e.g. Oscars and Golden Globes), and his character — a free slave who oversees the other slaves — named Stephen. View excerpts from the interview below:

On the controversy surrounding the film and the common interest he and Tarantino have:

I would say that Quentin’s way is the way to reach a larger audience, and slavery seems to be another backdrop. We seldom understand that when people were out there shooting Indians or whatever, on the other side of the Mississippi  there were people getting beaten down. This is the first time those genres cross paths. When you take that and make it entertaining in a way, you express the brutality of what slavery really was, of how people were really property and the way people treated them. Everyone’s all ‘oh my god, Quentin’s written ‘n****r’ 176 times on a script again’… This is a homage to Mandingo, those movies Quentin likes. He has a habit of mixing genres of movies he likes. Django Unchained  is essentially a spaghetti western exploitation movie with some Hong Kong overtones. He knows the movies that we like. I tend to go on location with about 30 Hong Kong films — I have a lot of Asian crime films in my trailer just to pass the time. Every time he’d pass my trailer he’d ask, ‘what are you watching now?’ and we’ll talk about it. We had long conversations about those movies. We tend to watch the same kind of bullshit. Entertainment.

On not getting a Golden Globe nomination for Django Unchained:

I understand what the Golden Globes is. It’s the only show they (the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) have and is their biggest moneymaker so you have to pack the room with people that are going to make people tune into that show. With popular actors and the popular television shows, it’s whoever they think people want to see on the red carpet and hope that they win, not necessarily the quality of work you’ve done.

 

I figured out early in the game that the best thing for me to do is just keep going to work. I don’t worry about picking a movie that says ‘oh my god, this has Oscar potential’. Other people think about that stuff, I don’t. I look at some actors and go ‘they only do those kinds of movies’. I do movies I want to see myself. 

30 Responses to Samuel L. Jackson Discusses Working With Quentin Tarantino On “Django Unchained”

  1. Chinee Reply

    January 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    We need to stop standing on ceremony. The movie is a business, and a profitable one I might add. If you want to help a cause, look around within your community and family and begin there. Have a discussion with them about the use of the n word. I saw the movie. Thought it had too much violence but was well made. I don’t think anyone took issue with Spike Lee when he made the movie, “She’s Got To Have It.” What was that? We are sabotaging our own with hypocrisy.

  2. Chinee Reply

    January 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    We need to stop standing on ceremony. The movie is a business, and a profitable one I might add. If you want to help a cause, look around within your community and family and begin there. Have a discussion with them about the use of the n word. I saw the movie. Thought it had too much violence but was well made. I don’t think anyone took issue with Spike Lee when he made the movie, “She’s Got To Have It.” What was that? We are sabotaging our own with hypocrisy.

  3. Nicole B Reply

    December 31, 2012 at 7:27 am

    This is a movie that was during the period of slavery, correct?? So why are offended when the word “n****r” is being used. So what do you want them to say “Hey African American go pick that cotton with the other African Americans”, be serious. We need to be upset of the use of it today, not for the use of it yesterday. Too many people use it as an term of endearment and forget it was used a term of hatred and determent.

  4. Latrice Reply

    December 31, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Everyone wants to concentrate on the word n****r bein used. I think the bigger picture is about non black people telling our stories. Can someone address that issue.

  5. patricia Reply

    December 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Did not like the n word use to much in the movie they use it more then roots.other then that it was a good movie.

  6. Shonta McCray Reply

    December 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I work on films here in Louisiana. I had the opportunity to work on Django and I must say that I enjoyed my time working on this film. It was made for entertainment purposes people. It was not meant to be a historically accurate version of some story to help blacks remember where they came from. Quentin was very uncomfortable to do this at first. When first presented with this script (that he DID NOT write), he turned it down. But, it’s not about black and white…. if it is, then Spike looses. Spike just recently finished a film here in Louisiana, and though I did not work on it, my colleagues who did have the opportunity to do so, disliked every minute of it. He demanded an african american crew, which is fine and his choice…However, he treated the crew like c**p! He was rude, disrespectful, and many of them quit because it was such a stressful environment, whereas on Django, Quentin T. was a very personable director. The environment on that set was playful and you wanted to go to work everyday. So the black man, who is all about “blacks” made working environments miserable for ‘his’ people, yet the white man made working conditions pleasurable for all that was on his set…. It’s a people thing. Until Spike learns how to treat people, he CANNOT have my ear about what he does or does not like about anything especially in regard to how someone treats us a blacks and african americans! Spike get a damned LIFE!

  7. keepsitreal Reply

    December 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I don’t get it. Most of you are all sitting around here trying to say that we as blacks “own” the right to use the “N” word. WHF!!! Who gave you that right and why would you want it. NO ONE has a right to use the word. It is a derogatory word no matter who uses it. As far as the movie, it is entertainment depicting a point in time, slavery. As a slave the word was commonly said between BOTH whites as masters and slaves that were “free”. So get the f**k over the use of the word by either. I am offended more if my black brothers say it than the whit counter part. We know what the word symbolizes and how it affects us, so why do you give “fist bumps” everytime a black person says it to another black brother. That is some bullshit.

  8. Donna Dawson Reply

    December 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Seeen Django. One thing I wasn’t going to do is boycott the movie because others were. The N word are in rap songs, stand up comics routines and used daily by blacks. I wasn’t offended by the movie and I will buy it went it hits the stores.

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