Quentin Tarantino is renowned for his strict behavior on sets. And although his demands from his actors may seem rather weird and unjust to them, perhaps his on-set behavior itself is the reason behind his projects turning out legendary and leaving an indelible mark on the audience. After all, Tarantino must have something special that has won him Academy Awards, no?
Anyways, his demands have been a constant factor while shooting his films, and his $321 million blockbuster Inglourious Basterds was no exception to this. For the 2009 war/action hit, he had a really weird demand for Christoph Waltz, who played the villainous character in the movie.
Quentin Tarantino’s Bizarre Demand For Christoph Waltz For Inglourious Basterds
While casting for Inglourious Basterds, when Quentin Tarantino came across Christoph Waltz for the villain-ish role of Hans Landa, he was nothing short of astounded. So much so, that he demanded Waltz to hold back and not perform to the fullest of his acting talent while rehearsing.
Revealing the same on Brian Koppelman’s The Moment podcast, Tarantino said:
“I got together with Christoph before we got to the big script reading with the cast. I told him, ‘I’m not doing this to be perverse game playing…everybody is so curious about who is playing Hans Landa. I don’t want you to be bad at the script reading, but I want you to hold a lot back. I do not want them to think that they are getting a glimpse of who you are really going to be. On a scale of one to 10, be a six. Be good enough, just good enough. I do not want you to be in a competition with anybody, and if you are in competition then lose. I don’t want them to know what you have or for them to have a handle on Landa.”
Christoph Waltz agreed to his request, but the filmmaker wasn’t done yet. The other non-German cast had not the slightest clue about Waltz and his intense acting skills, and Tarantino decided to keep it that way. Continuing, he commanded the German-Australian star:
“In that same vein, with the exception of the French farmer, I don’t want you rehearsing with the other actors before filming. I don’t want Diane Kruger or Brad Pitt to know your gun-slinging abilities until the cameras are rolling.”
This way, Quentin Tarantino prepped his actors during pre-production just so they could pull off the scene to the most desired effect. And it most certainly worked, for Waltz not only won the Best Actor prize at Cannes but also bagged an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as he outshone even Brad Pitt in the $321 million film!
Hans Landa: The Best Character Quentin Tarantino Has Ever Written
While Inglourious Basterds has to be one of the best movies ever created by Quentin Tarantino, the most applauded character in the series is that of Hans Landa (played by Christoph Waltz). The filmmaker himself once admitted: “Landa is the best character I’ve ever written and maybe the best I ever will write.” But even creating the character didn’t come without a unique set of multiple challenges.
During an interview with Empire Magazine, Tarantino revealed how he has hardly ever faced challenges while creating a character like the ones he faced while curating the role of Hans Landa.
“The minute he enters a scene, he dominates it,” Tarantino said. “All the things that he was supposed to be good at, he was that good at them. I found I had a really interesting situation with him that has been hard to have with any other character. It was the fact he was not only a bad guy, not only a Nazi, but a Nazi known as the Jew Hunter, who is finding Jews and sending them to the concentration camp, so when he shows up towards the end of the movie, kinda figuring out what the Basterds are doing, the audience wants him to.”
Continuing, he further elaborated his comment, saying:
“They’re not rooting for him, but it’s a f*****g movie, and if he figures it out it’s going to be a more exciting movie! You know, you don’t want him to let you down. We’ve set up that he knows everybody’s secrets, so he’s got to know theirs. And it will make a more exciting climax if he does.”
This simply proves what a legendary visionary Quentin Tarantino is, for he achieved every single thing he hoped from his characters along with making a remarkable masterpiece that will forever continue to leave an indelible mark on its audiences.