Quentin Tarantino made Christoph Waltz skip Inglourious Basterds rehearsals to shock co-stars

Actor won an Oscar for his portrayal of the sinister Hans Landa

Louis Chilton
Friday 30 July 2021 15:06
Christoph Waltz interview

Quentino Tarantino has revealed that Christoph Waltz was banned from rehearsals during production of Inglourious Basterds to help shock his co-stars.

In the historically revisionist Second World War film, Waltz played Hans Landa, a villainous Nazi officer. He won an Academy Award for the role.

Appearing on Brian Koppelman’s The Moment podcast earlier this week, Tarantino discussed working with Waltz on the film.

“I got together with Christoph before we got to the big script reading with the cast,” he said. “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.”

The writer-director explained that the only scene he wanted Waltz to rehearse was the opening scene, in which Landa unearths a family of Jewish people hiding at the home of a French farmer.

“With the exception of the French farmer, I don’t want you rehearsing with the other actors before filming,” Tarantino told Waltz. “I don’t want Diane Kruger or Brad Pitt to know your gun-slinging abilities until the cameras are rolling.”

Inglourious Basterds can be watched now on Netflix and Virgin TV Go in the UK.

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