6:20pm PT by the Associated Press
Comic-Con: 'Hateful Eight' Cast Discuss South Carolina's Confederate Flag
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Quentin Tarantino's latest film, Hateful Eight, takes place a few years after the end of the Civil War — and castmembers had the Confederate flag on their minds.
Comic-Con audiences were introduced to the film's motley crew of eccentrics Saturday in classic Tarantino fashion, with edgy banter and memorable nicknames, like "The Hangman," ''The Confederate" and "The Mexican." Set in a Wyoming haberdashery, this explosive group of bounty hunters, lawmen, outlaws and veterans — played by the likes of Kurt Russell, Tim Roth and Walton Goggins — take shelter from a blizzard and try (poorly) to keep the peace.
Roth and Goggins found the film incredibly timely, even before South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its state house on Friday.
"Ferguson had just happened when we were rehearsing. … It seems very pertinent, oddly enough," Roth said. "And even more so now with what's happening in Charleston."
The British actor said that while he's "not a big flag person," he was "very glad to see that thing come down."
Goggins spent the last few months in South Carolina, and he said his wife watched the flag lowered on Friday.
"To be there, and to have witnessed the pain of that city coming off doing this movie, is extraordinary," he said. "And if there's any person to bring this topic [of race and justice] back to the young people in this country, Tarantino is the one to do it."
Russell, who said working with Tarantino was the best experience of his career, said the story behind South Carolina's flying of the Confederate flag "has not been promoted very correctly."
"When I learned that it wasn't until '61 or something that the flag was put up, ... that was in response to the civil rights movement," Russell said. "So the state decided that that idea of putting the flag up in response to that was not a great idea after nine people were killed because of the color of their skin. I think even those people who might not agree with what [state legislators] did or feel it's getting onto the politically correct aspect of things, the state decided to change its concept of why the flag was put up in the first place."