Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Candid Conversation with the maverick director about why bloodier is better, the fun of reinventing history and how he wants his career to end

“I just don’t want to be an old-man filmmaker. I want to stop at a certain point. Directors don’t get better as they get older. Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film f*cks up three good ones … When directors get out-of-date, it’s not pretty,” says filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. Playboy’s November Interview sits down with the maverick director to talk about Django Unchained, facing 50 and why he’s no longer a Hollywood outsider (issue on newsstands and i.Playboy.com Tuesday, November 20, with the complete interview available at www.playboy.com/quentintarantino):

On quitting making movies while he’s ahead: “I’m on a journey that needs to have an end and not be about me trying to get another job. I want this artistic journey to have a climax. I want to work toward something. You stop when you stop, but in a fanciful world, 10 movies in my filmography would be nice. I’ve made seven. If I have a change of heart, if I come up with a new story, I could come back. But if I stop at 10, that would be okay as an artistic statement.”

On including controversial language in his films, such as the N word: “I’m just telling my story the way I’m telling it. I’m putting it in a spaghetti Western framework and highlighting the surreal qualities inherent in the material. I’m highlighting them mythically and operatically, and in terms of violence and gruesomeness, with pitch-black humor.”

On getting high while in production: “I wouldn’t do anything impaired while making a movie. I don’t so much write high, but say you’re thinking about a musical sequence. You smoke a joint, you put on some music, you listen to it and you come up with some good ideas. …I don’t need pot to write, but it’s kind of cool.”

On rewriting history in Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained : “You turn on a movie and know how things are going to go in most films. Every once in a while films don’t play by the rules. It’s liberating when you don’t know what’s happening next. …I thought, What about telling these kinds of stories my way – rough and tough but gratifying at the end?”

On originally seeking Will Smith to play the lead in Django Unchained: “We spent quite a few hours together over a weekend when he was in New York doing Men in Black 3. …I think half the process was an excuse for us to hang out and spend time with one another. …It just wasn’t 100 percent right, and we didn’t have time to try to make it that way.”

On why he ultimately cast Jamie Foxx in the role: “He was the cowboy…Forget the fact that he has his own horse—and that is actually his horse in the movie. He’s from Texas; he understands. …He understood  what it’s like to be thought of as an ‘other.’”

On Leonardo DiCaprio’s role as the villain, Calvin Candie: “I hated Candie, and I normally like my villains no matter how bad they are. …what I’m always trying to do…is get you to kind of like these guys, despite on-screen evidence that you shouldn’t. Despite the things they do and say and despite their agenda. I also like making people laugh at f*cked-up sh*t.”

On the Aurora, Colorado, tragedy during Dark Knight Rises and the issue of films glorifying violence : “I think that guy was a nut. He went in there to kill a bunch of people because he knew there would be a lot of people there… That’s no different from a guy going into a McDonald’s and shooting up people at lunchtime because he knows a lot of people will be there.”

On his celebrity status: “I’m not a Hollywood outsider anymore. I know a lot of people. I like them. They like me. I think I’m a pretty good member of this community… I still do things my own way, but I didn’t go away either. I still kind of feel like I’m always trying to prove I belong here.”

On rising to the level of his earlier work: “I want there to be anticipation. I was actually quite proud when I read that Django is one of the most anticipated movies coming out this year. It’s a black Western. Where’s the anticipation coming from? I guess a lot of it is me. That’s pretty f*cking awesome.”

On settling down as he approaches 50:  “If I had a wife, I would probably be more polite. She would make me write thank-you notes, which I won’t do on my own. I wouldn’t be such a caveman.”

On his ideal wife: “If I want to live in Paris for a year, what the f*ck? I can. I don’t have to arrange anything; I can just do it. If there is an actor or director I want to get obsessed with and study their films for the next 12 days, I can do that. The perfect person would be a Playmate who would enjoy that.”

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