Kurt Russell has defended The Hateful Eight against misogyny claims, arguing that his character John Ruth’s violent treatment of Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Daisy Domergue is crucial to the story.
The US actor plays a bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s latest Western who is tasked with bringing fugitive Daisy to hang for her murderous crimes. Forced to take shelter from a blizzard in Minnie’s Haberdashery, they are met by a group of strangers Ruth is convinced are there to kill him and save Daisy.
Described by Tarantino as a “brutal bastard”, Ruth hits Daisy with the butt of his gun, throws hot stew at her and repeatedly punches her in the face, giving her black eyes and turning the audience against him exactly as the director intended.
Russell who, perhaps unlike some cinema-goers, fully understands Tarantino’s vision, finds the suggestion of misogyny ridiculous.
“When people say that, they reveal themselves. You step outside that box, I’m going to beat the s**t out of you. I don’t care if you’re a five-year-old kid, I’ve got a license here that says I can kill you,” he told news.com.au.
“Forget misogyny, I can murder you. You have no rights, nothing. If you don’t treat that woman [the same], who in this case is every bit deserving of it, what are you, a sexist? You don’t think women are equal to men?”
Producer Harvey Weinstein has accused those crying misogyny of “fishing for stupidity” while Leigh told Variety that Tarantino writes “the best parts for women out there…brave, bold, insane, fabulous women” and that she “didn’t think [The Hateful Eight] was misogynistic for a second”.
Quentin Tarantino's best cameos
Quentin Tarantino's best cameos
1/7 Jimmie Dimmick in Pulp Fiction (1994)
Here he plays Jimmie Dimmick, who gets caught up in Vincent and Jules’ body disposing and panics over how on earth he’s going to get rid of the bloody evidence before his wife gets home.
2/7 Mr Brown in Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Tarantino opens Reservoir Dogs as Mr Brown, talking about Madonna hit ‘Like a Virgin’, before later being shot in the head, crashing his car and dying. Brief, but dramatic.
3/7 Miner in Django Unchained (2013)
Tarantino's Django cameo is much maligned. His Aussie miner appeared somewhat randomly in his first Western movie, before blowing himself up with his own dynamite.
4/7 Warren in Death Proof (2007)
Warrens owns the Texas Chili Parlour bar in this thriller about the murders of four women at the hands of a crazed stuntman. His own jukebox can be seen in the scene.
5/7 Pick-up guy in Desperado (1995)
Not one of his own films, but Tarantino did a favour for director Robert Rodriguez and agreed to a cameo. He wrote the three-minute long wee joke that he tells before being being killed.
6/7 Elvis impersonator in The Golden Girls (1988)
Not technically a cameo, but too funny not to include. Before his career kicked off, Tarantino played an Elvis impersonator on a 1988 episode of Golden Girls.
7/7 Dead Nazi in Inglourious Basterds (2009)
In this one he is a dead Nazi being scalped. Lovely.
Tarantino, naturally, has the final word: “Violence is hanging over every one of those characters like a cloak of night. So I’m not going to go, ‘Okay, that’s the case for seven of the characters but because one is a woman, I have to treat her differently’. I’m not going to do that.”
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- The Hateful Eight
- Quentin Tarantino
- Kurt Russell
- Jennifer Jason Leigh
- violence against women