Foxx and Washington talk Brutality and Fun on the set of new Tarrantino Movie

The cast of the most anticipated film of the year attended the Comic-Con on last Saturday to promote Django Unchained. Tarrantino wrote the film for Will Smith, but the actor soon had to step down because of other projects.  Starring Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington,  the movie also includes  Leonardo diCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and others.

In the film, Foxx plays a freed slave seeking violent revenge on the white man that has kidnapped his wife (Washington.)

In a recent interview with Huffington Post Jamie and Kerry tell us about the history of the film and working with Tarrantino, whom Jamie says is “hip hop.” He also talks about how Tarrantino let the cast take shots (of liquor) on the set.

This movie definiteley sounds like it’s Oscar bound. Jamie even jokes about how if there was a “Black Oscars,” he’d do everything black.

the cast at promo event

You’ve got to check out these great snippets.

With an intense movie like this, does it help that you two have worked together before?

Foxx: In this movie there are times when we had to go places … Kerry, to me, is the most courageous in the film because she’s the woman. When you see things being done to men, that’s one thing. When it’s done to a woman, when Kerry has to take lashes and she asks to be hit with a whip — those types of things, if we didn’t have a connection, it would be tough to get through. We have a connection, so we can talk about where we want to go or what she has to go through. We had to go places, you know? To be in a situation in which she’s compromised by these men … so, without that connection, it would have been tough.

Not for the faint hearted, “Django” will have some very brutal scenes.

Washington: Yeah, we shot in an actual slave plantation. So, that was the other thing. You’re there, hearing this sound of a whip and flesh. And hundreds of years ago, that’s the sound that echoed through that alley. And this is not a once in a lifetime experience — this isn’t Joan of Arc — this was a daily practice used to subjugate and keep them down. You know, one of the things that is so incredible about the experience of making the film is that this is a part of history that we don’t want to deal with. We don’t want to talk about it. So, we’ve never dealt with the brutality of this part of American history in this way. And it’s one thing to not even want to talk about it, but to actually have to see it — to go there — has been hard.

Washington: Why we had to go there is because this is a film about a hero. This is about a man who at a time when people are only considered three-fifths of a human being, so believes in his own humanity — and the humanity of his woman — that he goes across the country and into the depths of hell to rescue her. To honor their love for each other. That heroism, him facing all of that, doesn’t mean anything if we don’t represent the brutality of what he’s coming out of. So we had to go to all of these dark places. So him saving her really means something so we understand what the stakes were.

At the panel, Jamie made a statement that, “We all have egos.” This script was famously written for Will Smith. At any point did your ego not like that you weren’t the first choice?

Foxx: No, man. Are you kidding me? [Laughs]

Well, you are the one with the Oscar.

Foxx: To be honest with you, I really think that things happen for a reason. I think if Will would have done it, it would have been fantastic. You know, it didn’t work out. He was doing other things. Will also called me and said, “This is the part to be in.” He really loved the script. Look, you get the chance to work with Quentin Tarantino, Kerry Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz — you have to be a part of that. That’s the other thing, too. Sometime your ego can get you out of sh-t. It can have your ass sitting there and thinking you’re all this, meanwhile the world is going past you. It’s really about art. Cinema. Whether they paid us or not, we want to be there. You want to be there with these people.

What’s the one biggest difference working on a set with Quentin Tarantino? As in, “OK, that’s different.”

Foxx: He’ll crack a joke, man, and it will permeate through the whole place. He’s playing music, he’s dancing. Every 100th roll we’d do a shot.

Wait, really?

Foxx: Yeah, man. We’d have the chains on, “Pour that tequila!”

Washington: [Laughing] And at the same time, even he was changed by this subject matter. He was always playing music, but, on those days we were in Oak Alley with the whipping, the only music was gospel, morning to night. But the difference working with him is that it’s about loving your job.

Have either of you been in a movie with this much hype? I mean, “Ray” is a great movie, but no one lined up for footage of it months before it came out. Can the anticipation be a bad thing, expectations-wise?

Washington: It doesn’t matter. You never know if people are going to respond to anything. So, you can’t get attached to that part of it. The weird thing for me has been talking about it when we’re not done shooting it. That’s been the hard part. We’re still in it and it’s still evolving. We’re talking about scenes that we haven’t even shot yet.

How much more shooting is left?

Washington: Another week of shooting.

In the footage, Jamie is wearing a very elaborate blue outfit. Where did that come from?

Foxx: That’s my sh-t. That’s my sh-t. Nah, but you’ll see. Look, when we’re talking about this scene, at first it was a different way — Christoph picked the outfit. I said, “No. If he’s a slave and never had clothes, let him pick his clothes. And he’s going to pick the colors.” That “new money” sh-t. Any black person, any time we get some sh-t … like, I used to say this; I used to say this at the black Oscars, “Why are we at the black Oscars with Triscuits and Ritz crackers on the table? When you all know you should have some fried chicken and some potatoes and some red soda.” I said, “I’d do everything black.” If I get a 500 Mercedes Benz, I can’t drive it until I get the rims. Or get the tint on there — the right tint, too. There’s a gradual tint that you go through…

Washington: [Laughing] The gradual but illegal tint.

Foxx: Exactly. Then I say, “I’ve got to get the doom.” And people are like, doom? I say, “You all don’t know what doom is? You black people don’t know what doom is?” “What is doom, Jamie?” [Singing] “Doom, doom, da doom, doom.” So I told them, “I’m going to pick that blue outfit because that’s my doom.” And it works.


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