Quentin Tarantino picked up a gold statuette for best original screenplay for “Django Unchained” at the 2013 Academy Awards. Here’s what he had to say about the award during a Q&A with reporters backstage at the Oscars (some of whom had apparently been drinking).
Do you really think that in the anatomy of a human body there are bones? We keep on saying there’s only blood and flesh in a human body, and we see that and it’s a hit, you know.
I don’t quite understand the question, but I guess I do think there are bones in the human body.
Do you know the impact your movies have, not just in the United States, but in the world? I’m from Mexico, and people over there and, I think everywhere in the world, love you.
Yeah. I’ve actually always prided myself on being an international filmmaker. The way I look at it is, I’m not an American filmmaker. I’m an American and I’m a filmmaker. But I make movies for the planet Earth. And I have since the very beginning with “Reservoir Dogs.” I went all around the planet Earth, pretty much, for a whole year promoting it and doing all that, and I’ve been doing that ever since. And so, to me, America is just another market. I make my movies for Earth.
When you spend months getting so much criticism for the words that you put down on paper, how rewarding is it to be recognized as the best person to put words on to paper?
Well, you know, I have to say, all that criticism that came out, it ended up being kind of a good thing because one of the things that I wanted to do is start a conversation about slavery, about America’s role in it, and to actually take an audience member from the 21st century and stick them in the antebellum South and see whether they would have a sense of what America was like back then.
So even the people that have criticized the movie, and a lot of people don’t like it and I can understand that, but a lot of people do like it, and they have been kind of going back and forth. And that back and forth is really what I wanted for the end of the day of this movie, and I hope that continues for the next few years.
Your movie was such a success at the box office, as were a lot of the Best Picture nominees this year. Do you think that the financial success of these films is going to impact how studios think about making adult oriented and serious minded fare?
That’s a very good question, and I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately … I actually think an adult audience is kind of rising up. I mean, the fact that we are actually not making every movie for teenagers is kind of a cool thing, especially now that I am not a teenager anymore.
What led you to include an Australian character in the closing part of your film?
I cut it out, but the whole idea was the fact that they were kind of Australian indentured servants for the LeQuint Dickey Mining Company. And what I cut out was this moment where my character was there and Django says, “So, well, you work for the LeQuint Dickey Mining Company, don’t you?” “Yup.” He goes, “Well, I know how much I’m getting paid.” “How much are you getting paid? Like, for instance, how much do you get paid for the day?” “Well, you know, what the law says, LeQuint Dickey paid for my passage from Australia to here. And, you know, I get paid and I send a little back home for the family and that’s just how it works. I’ll pay them back for the boat trip.”
And he goes, well, “How long have you been working for LeQuint Dickey?” “About three years.” “Three years and you ain’t paid them back yet?” “Yup.” “Shit, peckerwood, you a slave, too. You just got bought for the price of a boat ride. At least they didn’t charge us for the boat ride.” That kind of explained it. But the movie’s long, so I got rid of it.
I know that you filmed in Louisiana, and with there talks of being possibly a sequel to “Django Unchained,” would you consider coming to South Carolina to film?
South Carolina is a really, really lovely place. Louisiana, particularly, helped us out because, you know, it’s supposed to take place in Mississippi, and Louisiana and Mississippi look a whole lot alike. And the plantations were actually kept in better shape in Louisiana than they were in Mississippi, and that’s why we went down there and shot. I could very well consider it. I’d have to write the script, though. That’s the trick. Once I write the script and know what I’m going to need, but I’ll always keep South Carolina in mind.