Quentin Tarantino on When He'll Retire: 'I Don't Want to Be an Old-Man Filmmaker'
The "Django Unchained" writer-director talks Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, violence in film and possible retirement.
Yes, that really is the Pussy Wagon in Quentin Tarantino's driveway.
That's just one of the many revelations the Django Unchained writer-director tells Playboy in the magazine's December issue.
In the interview, Tarantino reveals the genesis of his new spaghetti Western and talks candidly about his initial meetings with Will Smith, who was his first choice to play the film's title character, a role that went to Jamie Foxx.
"We spent quite a few hours together over a weekend when he was in New York doing Men in Black 3," he says. "We went over the script and talked it out. I had a good time -- he’s a smart, cool guy. I think half the process was an excuse for us to hang out and spend time with one another. I had just finished the script. It was cool to talk to someone who wasn’t guarded about what he was saying."
When asked what Smith's reaction was to the script, Tarantino responds, "That’s private stuff between us. … But he didn’t walk away from it because he was scared of the material."
Tarantino describes his Django star Foxx as "the cowboy."
"Forget the fact that he has his own horse -- and that is actually his horse in the movie," the filmmaker says. "He’s from Texas; he understands. We sat there talking, and I realized, 'Wow, if this were the 1960s and I was casting a Django Western TV show and they had black guys as stars of those in the 1960s, I could see Jamie on one of those.' And that’s what I was looking for, a Clint Eastwood."
The Inglourious Basterds writer-director also touched upon the shooting at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., and whether it affected his view on the glorification of violence in film.
"No, because I think that guy was a nut," says Tarantino. "He went in there to kill a bunch of people because he knew there would be a lot of people there and he’d make a tremendous amount of news doing it. That’s no different from a guy going into a McDonald’s and shooting up people at lunchtime because he knows a lot of people will be there."
On a more personal note, Tarantino, who turns 50 in March, reveals that it might be time for him to retire soon. "Who knows what I’ll do? I just don’t want to be an old-man filmmaker," he says. "I want to stop at a certain point. Directors don’t get better as they get older. Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film f---s up three good ones. I don’t want that bad, out-of-touch comedy in my filmography, the movie that makes people think, 'Oh man, he still thinks it’s 20 years ago.' When directors get out-of-date, it’s not pretty."
Read the entire interview here.