Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio cover the latest issue of Vibe magazine where the three stars of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film Django Unchained chatted about the controversy surrounding the film which looks at slavery through Tarantino’s quirky lens.
Kerry on reuniting with Ray co-star Jamie Foxx: “I couldn’t have done this movie without Jamie. The trust factor. I think there is something beautiful about the fact that the film is about a husband and wife being reunited after being separated. And the audiences also get to see us being reunited. I think there is poetry in that. But the places we had to go emotionally I would not be able to go with an actor that I didn’t respect, admire, trust and love. Even days when we weren’t working it was good to know you had that person in your corner.”
Jamie on how filming on an actual plantation affected him: “For me, it was different. I’m from the South. It’s a tough script to read. When you’re from California or New York, it’s like reading something out of science fiction. How are these people like that. When President Obama became president in 2008, a blemish on my hometown was the fact that it wasn’t on the front page of the newspaper. When they went down to talk to them, they went [country accent] ‘‘Hey listen, we run a newspaper, not a scrap book.” I’m paraphrasing. So I had both of my daughters come down to the plantation, and I walked them through and I said, “This is where your people come from. This is your background.” And I said, “this is more than just a movie for your father.”” My little daughter, I took her into the shack, and I said, ‘‘these are where the slaves stayed.” Every two, three years there is a movie about the holocaust because they want you to remember and they want you to be reminded of what it was. When was the last time you seen a movie about slavery?”
Leonardo on overcoming playing a slave owner: “For me, the initial thing obviously was playing someone so disreputable and horrible whose ideas I obviously couldn’t connect with on any level. I remember our first read through, and some of my questions were about the amount of violence, the amount of racism, the explicit use of certain language. It was hard for me to wrap my head around it. My initial response was, ‘‘Do we need to go this far?” Quentin pushes the envelope, you know, much like Inglourious Basterds was about World War II, a heightened reality. His depiction or retelling of that time. This is his retelling of this era. But my immediate question was, ‘‘Are we going too far?” Samuel Jackson was like, ‘‘You can’t pull any punches, none of this can be sugar coated.””