Shortly before its massive weekend theatrical premiere (indieWIRE reports opening box office is at $37,602,000 and counting), Quentin Tarantino accompanied Inglourious Basterds to the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, affording me the opportunity to ask the following.
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Michael Guillén: Cristoph Waltz. Remarkable performance that you’ve elicited from him! You have a talent for highlighting actors who have either not worked recently or are not as well known in America as elsewhere. How did you find Waltz and how did you pull him into the movie?
Quentin Tarantino: That was really just a case of the casting process working perfectly. When I finished writing the script, I was aware enough to know that Hans Landa was one of the best characters I’ve ever written and one of the best characters I will ever write. What became apparent, obviously, is that Hans Landa is a linguistic genius. I knew whoever played him would have to be a linguistic genius. When Cristoph walked in, I had no idea who he was. He was just an actor that my casting director recommended. He’s a TV actor in Germany. He’s like the second or third lead in a lot of German TV series. When he read the opening farmhouse scene, about halfway through I knew I had found my Landa. Landa is an exceptional detective. Every year the Mystery Writers Association gives out an Edgar—named after Edgar Allen Poe—to best detective of the year and I’m hoping that Landa wins this year.
Cross-published on Twitch.