Diane Kruger and Melanie Laurent are the two leading ladies in Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece Inglourious Basterds
that is out this Friday, August 21st. Although both women never have a scene together in the brilliant movie, both of their characters have the same objective to off the Third Reich.
The reason why Diane Kruger’s character’s Bridget von Hammersmark, a German actress who works as a double agent for Britain wants to bring them down is not clear to us, but according to what she told us at The Weinstein Company
roundtable day is that QT gave her a 20 year backstory of why she turned on her country. Maybe that is something we will get in the much-wanted prequel! When the German native was asked what her response was to doing a movie that changed the history of her homeland, here is what she told us.
That’s why I wanted to do it. You can imagine as someone born in Germany, I get offered World War II movies once a week. And I never wanted to do it. Because why should I associate myself with that just because I’m German. So this came along, and I was like, that is cool. I will be able through Bridget von Hammersmark to bring down the Third Reich. I like it, let’s do it!
She told us that when the movie screened in Berlin a few weeks ago the reaction was 3X that of what they got in Cannes and there they got a 15 minute standing ovation there. So it just goes to show you how impactful this WWII epic is. She also told us how one of her scenes might’ve been impactful on the director himself…
Was it honor for you to be the foot fetish?
A: [LAUGHS] It was funny thing because I guess, I was lazy, I didn’t know about that. And then I was interviewed by a journalist as I just got the job. And he said, “So, ah, have you heard about this?” And I said, no. And he said, “Really, you don’t have a foot scene?” And actually, I do! And he filled me in. And then the day comes and I’m like, “Quentin, are you excited?! It’s the first day!” And he was like, “No, it’s not true. It’s all made up. Journalists made it up.” And I was like, Okay. Six close-ups later on my foot and not on my face, and I thought, maybe there is some truth to it. I don’t know!
It was your foot?
A: Oh yeah. It never looked better, are you kidding? The pedicure lasted forever.
She joked that maybe QT wasn’t exactly happy with her foot because he stepped in for Christoph Waltz in a very critical scene.
What was it like filming the fight scene with Christoph, the cast and being throttled out of your chair, looked a little rough and tumble?
A: It was rough, yeah. A really funny anecdote about that is that it is actually Quentin who was strangling me. I know it’s like, “ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING?” “DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG?” It was my last day, and he came into my trailer and he said, “Christoph is just an actor. He’s going to squeeze too hard or too little and we’re going to do it over and over. I just know exactly what we need, so I think I should just strangle you.” He trapped me, right? Sure thing, Quentin. And then, we see Christoph and Quentin is about two heads taller than him. So none of his costumes would fit him. So they had to make strap on and fake SS sleeves, that are strapped to the back of my collar. And here is this huge man on top of me – squeezing. He really was a lot less strong than Christoph, and I couldn’t tell him, “Oh yeah, no-no [feign coughing], we can do one more.” He’s so sweet, you know.
You will have to see the movie on Friday to see if she survives that scene. According to a lot of reports out there this probably won’t be the last time we see her in a QT movie because they are saying she is his new It girl. She really earned that title because she really held her own as the only woman in the almost all-male scenes. Her scene with Brad Pitt gave me the heebie jeebies, I am still squirming just thinking about it. Let’s just say you have to see it to understand why I am saying that and she played it so realistically, I can still feel her pain. Sincerely this model-turned-actress won me over in her role of Bridget von Hammersmark in Inglourious Basterds!
From Diane Kruger to Melanie Laurent, the character who has a reason to bring down the Third Reich in the history changing movie Inglourious Basterds. Laurent plays the Jewish girl Shosanna Dreyfus, a woman whose family is gunned down next to her as they hid under the floorboards of man who had taken them in. The man responsible for their deaths is The Jew Hunter played by the scary Christoph Waltz. Fast forward a few years, Shoshana is now running movie theater in Paris and has caught the eye of one of the most famous Nazis in the world, Fredrick Zoller played by the gorgeous Daniel Bruhl. When he decides the film about the actions that made him the star that he is, needs to be screened at her movie theater, she puts into action a plan that will bring down the Third Reich as revenge for what they did to her family. In one meeting where they discuss bringing premiere to her theater, The Jew Hunter is a surprise guest and their interaction is one of the most well-acted, chilling scenes I have seen in a while and you can really feel her tension as she prays he doesn’t recognize her. Lucky for her and us he doesn’t and her plan is put into motion. In her final scene she had to have a diabolical laugh that would last for 5 minutes and she told us she dreaded that scene most.
I did not know how to do that for the life of me. For months, I was like, (gasp) “How am I going to do that?” Because in the script it was like, “She’s laughing like the evil, during 5 minutes.” I’m like—“What? What? During 5 minutes? I’m gonna be like—huh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hunh ha ha—it’s gonna be a nightmare!” And I remember that day, I was like, “Ok Quentin, you know what, I’m so stressed out. I really don’t know what I’m going to do. ‘Cause I never took some theater lessons, for example. I just made movies. So I have very—and I’m French. We are lazy! You don’t work on that laughter in 6 months. You just like, “Oh my god, it’s tomorrow! My laugh is tomorrow!” You know? Well maybe, just for me. So, and I was like, oh my god, how am I going to do that. And so I said, “I’m stressed out! Because it’s so important. Ok I’m stressed out more now.” So he says, “Ok, ok. You know what. I’m gonna fire everybody!” So he just asked people to get out. And I was like, oh my god, is this a sick scene? Because usually when—“Can I have the script please?! I just want to check something!” And he was like, “Ok. We are 5 here.” In a huge set. You can imagine. It was funny because the set was like—in the stairs—but in the very corner on a huge, huge set. So we were just 5 people, just for the camera and me, and and he said—and he took my hand and he said, “You know what? I just trust you. You’re gonna be great. You’re gonna give me a great evil laugh.” “Ok! [She clears throat] Action!” And I just did something. You know. First day. And he was like, “Ok. You can do it. Ok, let’s work.” He just wanted to know if I could just forget everything. And it remembers me a little bit of like the scene in Kill Bill 2, where she just finally goes—find Bill. And she’s on a car, and she’s like front of camera, black and white, and she says, “And I’m gonna Kill Bill!” And we’re like, ok, why are you saying like this. And it’s because, it’s completely unreal. And at the end you just love that sort of scene. Because it’s just completely creative. And on your imaginary end—it’s just like—and he’s so stressed out for you—because he knows it’s going to be hard to find the right way to say it, but at the end he just—here—takes your hand and say “You know what, I trust you.” And you’re like, “Ok cool! You are the only one.
You will have to see Inglourious Basterds on Friday to see how hauntingly she pulled off that laugh. That and you have to see how this 26 year old actress who barely spoke English before this film stole the movie. She is just so tremendous in the movie, I forsee a lot of interest in this little French girl who was a huge part of Inglourious Basterds.
Come back tomorrow to hear what two of the Basterds, BJ Novak and Michael Fassbender told us about their pivotal roles in Inglourious Basterds.
Huge thanks to The Weinstein Company for inviting me to cover the junket for Inglourious Basterds!!!