Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray”) stars as the titular slave who metamorphosed into a gun-slinging free man, in Columbia Pictures' blood-soaked revenge thriller “Django Unchained.” The film is written and directed by Quentin Tarantino who've just won an Oscar for his original screenplay.
|Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures|
Set in the South two years before the Civil War, “Django Unchained” revolves around Django (Foxx), a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles – dead or alive.
Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago.
“Jamie and I got together and he was just terrific,” Tarantino recalls. “He understood the story, the context of the story and the historical importance of the film. He got it 100%. He’s a terrific actor and he looks perfect for the character, but there’s a cowboy quality to him. When I met him, I was imagining that if they cast black guys in the 60s to be the stars of Western TV shows, I could imagine Jamie having his own TV show. He looks good on a horse, and good in the outfit.”
Foxx responded to the script’s honest portrayal of the brutality of slavery. “It was the most incredible script I’ve read in all of my life,” Foxx says. “I thought, ‘Who has the guts, and the knowledge to tell it like it really is?’ I thought that the way Quentin’s telling the story -- as true and as honest -- if it rips your flesh off, so be it. That’s what was exciting about the process.”
Foxx notes that Django and Broomhilda’s devotion to each other allowed for a personal, intimate window into these characters. “Back at that time, to be married was taboo. You could be killed. They forced marriages back then – or they forced copulation – so the strongest buck would mate with the strongest black woman and they could get stronger slaves. They didn’t want black people to be married. So Django being married was a big thing for me. This is a love story. And that’s what fuels him. He’s not trying to stop slavery. He’s not trying to do anything but find the love of his life – which is like trying to find a needle in a world of haystacks.”
“The reason that we tighten up because it was a bad place,” Foxx continues. “It was a dangerous time, and we sometimes feel that it does hold us in captivity without the chains, metaphorically.”