Quentin Tarantino introduces his “Inglourious Basterds”

"Inglourious Basterds" director and cast shine at press conference.

At today’s press conference for Inglourious Basterds, director Quentin Tarantino appeared with cast members Mélanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mike Myers, Michael Fassbender, Daniel Brühl, and Eli Roth, along with the producers, Lawrence Bender and the Weinstein brothers.

Quentin Tarantino on Christoph Waltz/Hans Landa:
“I realized I was writing a pretty impressive character fairly early on, when I was still dealing with pen and paper, when it came to Col. Hans Landa. And one of the things about the character is the fact that he’s a linguistic genius. I knew that whatever actor I cast to play this would have to be as much of a linguistic genius as Landa is, or he would never come off the page. He would be trapped on the page… So I started casting actors in Germany, and I wasn’t finding anybody who had everything that I needed, 100%. They could do the poetry in this language, but they couldn’t do the poetry in that language… And he had to be able to say the poetry in every language. I literally had a moment where I didn’t think I was going to find it. I called the producers and said, ‘Look, if we can’t find the right Landa, I’m pullin’ the plug this week. I’ll just publish the script.’ And the producers, Lawrence and everybody, they were very cool about it, they go, ‘Here’s the deal. Then we just spend, just this week, it’s just Landa, Landa, Landa.’ And I can just tell you the day that Christoph came, walked in the room, sat down, and read two scenes, I remember thinking, and Lawrence was sitting next to me, ‘We’re making a movie!'”

Quentin Tarantino on being in Cannes:
“To me, there’s just no place like Cannes, for filmmakers, on the face of the Earth… One of the things that’s so wonderful about Cannes is that during this time here on the Riviera, cinema matters. It’s important. I mean even the things when people boo, and they’re so noisy about this and that and the other, it’s out of passion. Also, the fact that all the world film press, from the planet Earth, America, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, you know, they’re all here. There’s something about them all being here, and you drop the movie, bam! Everybody weighs in at the exact same time, and they argue, and they jostle, and it’s like the cat is out of the bag for the entire planet Earth. And I’m down with that! I am not an American filmmaker. I make movies for the planet Earth, and Cannes is the place that represents that.”

Brad Pitt on how he got involved in the film:
“Quentin came to visit some time at the end of the summer with the script, and we talked about it, we talked about movies till the wee hours of the night… I got up the next morning, and I saw five empty bottles of wine laying on the floor, and apparently I agreed to do the movie, because six weeks later, I was in uniform, and I was Lieutenant Aldo Raine. So, go figure… (laughter) He’s been working on this script eight years, and he said that night, ‘We’re gonna make Cannes.’ And this was August, or something ridiculous. I knew it instantly upon reading it, these ones don’t come along very often. I felt very privileged, and that I’d earned this moment! So I was really happy it finally arrived.”