Comic-Con 2012: 'Django' Star Christoph Waltz Says Tarantino's Slavery Film Helps 'Make Sense of What’s Happening Today'

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company

The German-born actor says his "greatest reward" for making the western was learning how slavery was not merely a byproduct of "the destructive forces of a market economy."

After winning an Oscar for his performance in Inglourious Basterds, is seems like it would be a no-brainer for Christoph Waltz to reunite with writer-director Quentin Tarantino again. But the German actor said that he already took home his reward from working on the filmmaker’s next project, the slavery-era western Django Unchained.

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“By looking into more details of American history, we can make more sense of what’s happening today,” Waltz said in a roundtable interview Saturday. “That was really one of the greatest rewards of doing this job.”

In Django, Waltz plays a German bounty hunter who recruits a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) to help track down the homicidal siblings the Brittle brothers. Although the actor admits that he was familiar with general details about America’s history of slavery, he learned more than he ever expected, and was able to apply it to more current events.

“Of course I was familiar with the broader aspects of the South, the North, the Civil War, what led to the Civil War,” he explained. “What were the results, the nation-forming factors and elements of this conflict that in a way exist to this day. [But] the finer points, I never really looked into that much.

“So [it was great] to actually learn and find a view and a perspective on what I see today, and that it has historical background -- that is not just what I thought was a market economy and the destructive forces of a market economy, but that it actually has a historical foundation.”

Django Unchained opens nationwide on December 25, 2012.

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