The 70th annual Golden Globe Awards took place on Jan. 13, 2013, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Here is what this Golden Globe winner said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.
What does the Hollywood Foreign Press Association know that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn’t know?
I got [the Golden Globe] for writing and I got nominated for writing at the Oscars too. So far, so good, as far as that’s concerned.
There’s been a lot of controversy about how much the “n” word is said in “Django Unchained.” Did it ever bother you to have that word so much in the script?
No, not really. If somebody is out there actually saying it, when it comes to the word n***er, if in fact that I was using the word more than it was used in the Antebellum South in Mississippi in 1858, then feel free to make that case. But no one’s actually making that case.
So in other words, what they’re saying is that I should soften it. They’re saying I should lie. They’re saying I should whitewash. They’re saying I should massage. And I never do that when it comes to my characters.
What inspires you?
It really kind of depends because when I’m doing my writing, I’m really not thinking about the movie, per se. It’s all about the page. I don’t write blueprints which I later go out and shoot. My movies might be better if I did.
I write what I actually hope to be literature on the page. And that’s what it’s about. I’m writing a little, crazy novel in screenplay form on the page, and then I adapt it every day in the movie to make the movie. So, to me, there’s the script and there’s the movie. And they’re very separate, actually.
Christoph Waltz’s King Schultz character in “Django Unchained” seems tailor-made for him. Do you think anyone else could have played that role?
No, nobody [else] could’ve played it. The character wouldn’t have existed if I had never met Christoph. And if Christoph’s mother and never met Christoph’s father, there would be no King Schultz, that’s for sure.
I don’t think it was even a conscious decision. “Oh, I’m going to put this German bounty hunter/dentist into my black western.” I actually started writing my first scene, and he flowed out of the pen fully formed.
What can you say about modern-day slavery?
There actually is modern-day slavery. If you go to Malaysia, there’s sexual slavery going on a lot in places like that. And everyone kind of knows about it.
But I’m more concerned about the slavery that’s happening in America. The drug laws that are going on here that put so many black males in jail under laws that didn’t exist in the ‘70s. That is slavery.
The way that the private prisons and the public prisons trade prisoners back and forth, it’s not like they’re even hiding it any more. It is straight-up slavery, as far as I’m concerned.
Why did you decide to make “Django Unchained” as your first western movie?
It’s funny, part of the thing about spaghetti westerns, I knew that whenever I threw my hat into the ring to a western, that it would be along the lines of a spaghetti western. And I don’t mean that in a pastiche kind of way.
I mean that in a way that I like the way they tell their stories. I like how violent they are. I like how nihilistic they are. And I like the operatic stage that they play their stories out in. I like the surreal quality.
So when I was trying to think so it wouldn’t be pastiche, so it would truly be an American story, told with that kind of operatic stage, operatic canvas, what would be the American equivalent of that? And I thought it would be during slave times in the Antebellum South, particularly Mississippi, the worst place you could possibly be.
And to actually have an ex-slave who is a bounty hunter — the main job of a spaghetti western hero — in Mississippi during that time, that would be capturing that operatic quality and that Holocaust-like version of evil that exists in spaghetti westerns, but done in a truly American way.
For more info: Golden Globe Awards website
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