Controversy has been brewing ever since director Quentin Tarantino, announced that his latest movie, Django Unchained would be about an ex-slave seeking revenge against a plantation owner while rescuing his enslaved wife. Still that hasn’t stopped Academy Award winner, Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington from taking roles in the film which hits theaters on December 25.
During a press conference at New York City’s swanky hotel The Ritz-Carlton, the stars alongside Quentin, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio and several other cast members discussed why they felt the need to take on the project.
For Jamie, the film was an opportunity to present the story of a slave that was not victimized. “When you see movies about slavery we never get a chance to see the slave actually fight back and do for himself,” he explained
Kerry’s connection to the film was deeply personal since her motivation for being part of the film was her father. “I said to Quentin, I want to do this movie for my father because he grew up in a world where there were no Black superheroes and that’s what this character [Django] is.”
The film which was shot on the historical Evergreen Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana, did not come without its challenges for the cast. Jamie hilariously recalled almost being knocked off a horse at 28mph; Leonardo smashed his hand through glass and continued filming with blood spilling all over the place. There was also one instance where the emotional weight of the story almost became unbearable for the cast to handle. Kerry recalled how a background actor/pastor helped pull everyone through.
“He paused everybody and said, ‘We have to remember we are the answer to these people’s prayers. The people who did this work dreamt of the day you could not be property and own property, to read, vote, get married and be compensated,’" Kerry recalled. "On that sacred ground it forced everybody to own how blessed we are to tell this story and not feel victimized by it. It’s the story of a hero.”
It is this story that Kerry, Jamie and everyone involved in the project hopes will resonate with viewers.
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